A Moment with Charles Schulz

I am still searching for that wonderful pen line that comes down when you are drawing Linus standing there, and you start with the pen up near the back of his neck, and you bring it down and bring it out, and the pen point fans a little bit….and the pen line is the best pen line you can make.  That’s what it’s all about.

Charles Schulz, from his keynote speech to the National Cartoonists’ Society convention, 1994

I read that quote in the book The Art of Charles M. Schulz (Pantheon, 2001), and  he expresses beautifully an experience shared by diverse craftspeople, whatever their tools may be.

Speaking from a carver’s perspective, there are similar moments when time seems to slow down and you savor the interaction of your hands, tools, and materials.  Moments of sweetness when the knife has been turned just so and the shaving rises and curls, leaving behind the best cut you could make at that moment.  What a feeling to search for again and again.

May you enjoy such moments this weekend.

 

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4 Responses to A Moment with Charles Schulz

  1. Barry Gordon says:

    David, Having an affection for edge tools I know of what you speak. On the other hand, I use band saw carving and powered abrasives (the wood is in my hand and brought to an abrasive belt running over a contact wheel) for most of my initial and intermediate external shaping. I assure you, strange as it may seem, the same feeling can be present using that method as well. It is a gift to treasure no matter what method is employed.

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  2. Dave Fisher says:

    Doesn’t seem strange at all, Barry; thus, “whatever their tools may be.” I think it has more to do with one’s state of mind in the moment.

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  3. Barry Gordon says:

    It does David. I’m sitting here working on the preface for our book about Emil Milan. The book is based on our now seven-year research project and scheduled to be published within the next twelve months. Emil was an early advocate of integrating power and hand methods. Among our many recorded interviews is a poetic description by a student of his relating how she stood in his barn watching him work. We don’t know whether Emil was experiencing one of those “moments” but the observer certainly was! Perhaps the feeling is transferable.

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