Makers: Jack of All Trades or Master of One

What type of maker are you? A little of both, most likely, but sometimes one is the stronger impulse.

by Dave on Jan. 28, 2021, 3 a.m.

I discovered the maker community through, as so many have, a Jimmy Diresta video. I mean, I had known about the concept of a maker for a long time, I subscribed to Make: magazine. But, I didn’t really turn that into making, or participation in any sort of maker community. I hadn’t found my people yet. Once I learned about maker videos on YouTube I explore a lot of it. I ended up finding quite a few woodworking channels, they are probably the majority of them out there. I subscribed to them all and started to learn what I didn’t know. For I while I thought I would explore this hobby of woodworking, and I slowly collected tools.

At this time, I still haven’t build a coffee table, a desk, or a dresser. I understand many of the concepts, but it’s not really what I am interested in. I figured out, I am interested in learning the processes, tools, and problem-solving techniques. These could relate to woodworking, metal, props, painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, anything! I am definitely a collector of skills, a generalist, a curious jack of all trades, or many trades, not all, yet.

What I learned is that I am not interested in learning how to build a specific thing, but in learning new concepts, and finding out about new materials and ways to put things together, so I can create what I see in my imagination. There’s plenty of room in the maker community for folks who just want to learn how to make the best dovetail joint, it’s just not for me. I love seeing someone perform at the top of their craft, but I am not ready to sit down and concentrate long enough to learn it yet.

In the end it doesn’t matter, find the makers and projects that inspire you, and keep being curious and learning. That’s what being a maker is all about.