I wish you could hold this axe handle. It is perfect! OK, it is old and broken, but it is perfect.
For most of my life I have railed against the concept of ‘good enough’ or ‘OK’; our watered-down version of ‘perfect’. The old guys who worked in my 1860’s blacksmith and carpenter’s shop would not settle for ‘good enough’. If the shoe did not fit the horse, it did not go on the horse. Period. If your hand did not fit the axe handle perfectly it got changed.
In my own work I wrestled with the concept daily. My answer was to make my craft sing and make Art happen. When craft is done perfectly, it becomes quiet and recedes. That allows the Art values to move forward. This said, we all know that ‘perfect’ is a concept that none of us ever realizes.
Except the maker of the axe handle. It’s a thrill to hold it. It was in a pile of scrap under the old workbench along with the broken burl mallet. Kindling. I think not.