The Impractical Cabinetmaker, and ‘those people’

The Impractical Cabinetmaker (1979) was a book written by James Krenov, a Russian born, famous, fine-woodworker and philosopher. He has a lot to say about life and work, love and passion. Not unlike Sigmund Freud who intimated life was about nothing more than love and work. From Krenov’s book:

Not long ago I was asked: “What does the word work mean to you?” After some hesitation I said, “I guess it means doing what one thinks is worth doing, and doing it well.” (pg.11)


has become the focus of a lot of discourse lately – what it is and what it’s worth. There is now “essential” work. Which means different things to different people. Same as love. What is worth doing and what is doing it well? [I’ll leave love (romantic) out of this discussion.]

Are ‘worth doing’ and ‘essential’ equivalent? Certainly what is essential is worth doing. However, how much is it worth, who does it, and who pays? matters.

The answer is: It depends. On what?

“Those People”

who happen to be the rich, or the 1%. In other words those people who have money determine what has value and what does not. Because most people will do whatever they have to to survive.

Except for the impractical. But, without ‘those people’, the rich, the 1%; the impractical cabinetmaker (otherwise known as The Artist), could not survive. Moreover, The Artist could not live and love. Never mind ever become rich and famous! (See page 152 in Krenov’s book.)

Krystal Ball

is wrong again. Don’t get me wrong, I ‘love’ her. She is a female version (personality wise) of myself. However, I doubt she has ever built (is creative) anything. She is, in fact, one of “those people”. However, she presents herself as a champion and voice for the “working class”. What?

Robert Wright

also presents himself as a champion for the Progressive (he calls himself a “progressive realist”). As with Krystal, I doubt he has ever built anything. Both of them are intellectuals and wealthy. Compared to ‘essential’ workers” there is none. Both are part of the 1%.

James Krenov

was an exceptional, unique, human being. He created furniture that integrated all that is extraordinary about human beings. Such that – I attempted to replicate his work.

Almost won best in show
Krenov inspired

The above cabinet, Krenov inspired, almost won best in show at the most prestigious fine woodworking exhibition in Colorado. In 1987. It didn’t win because it didn’t conform to the current standard that fine woodworking must be the product of hardwood, not soft pine.


I think, to this day, that I adhered to the philosophy of Mr. Krenov! Because work and love are intertwined. Work, no matter its purpose, is worth doing well.

Work worth doing is beautiful, and rewarding.
Work worth doing well

Essential is


Just asking as a person who shoveled shit for years to live free.



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