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Workers in the workshop … part 2

May 22, 2012

I straighten my legs and lean back on the door post. He stands back and adjusts his sleeves.  He removes the blade from the plane.  Then he pours a little oil on to a sharpening stone that he has found under the shavings and begins to sharpen the blade with a gentle movement to and fro. He lifts it to the light and runs his thumb across the sharpened edge.  He screws it back in place.  Swoops away another swathe of shavings. Then makes a few more finishing touches before he removes the oar from the vice and stands it in the corner with its pigeon pair.

He takes the final swig of the tea and pushes the cup back on the bench among the shavings.  Reaching for his baccy tin and he sits on the stool nearby.  It is the only piece of furniture in the workshop serving a multitude of purposes none less than that of a ‘step up’ for a small person helping.  I did not need the prop.

He sits and lifts the lid from the tin propped on his knee; he removes a Rizlar from the tiny green packet and straightens the delicate fold. He tugs a little tobacco from the packet and spreads it across the paper and twirls it into a tube, then licking the glued edge he gives it a final twirl.  We both admire his work without a word.  He places the cigarette between his lips and carefully repacks his baccy tin and secures the lid with tender tap.  He reaches for the matches strategically placed beyond the heaps of waste.  He strikes the match to light the cigarette the tiny glow brightens his tired eyes.  He draws on the cigarette and blows the spoke towards the tilly lamp as it continues to blaze and attract a couple of moths.

I show him my picture; he takes his pencil from behind his ear and makes some corrective strokes pointing out the elliptical curve at the top of the cup and elaborated the arch of the handle.  It was as I expected but his timely attention was approval enough.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 30, 2013 7:06 am

    Reblogged this on Living, Libraries and [Dead] Languages and commented:

    Again today as I finish a session of drawing I remember my dad. not a man of many words … a nod of approval was all we needed then.

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