The bonfire of my vanities

Girolamo Savonarola was probably the most famous organiser of a "bonfire of the vanities" in February, 1497. He encouraged his followers to burn objects they considered likely to cause sinful behaviour, these included playing cards, cosmetics, works of art and books amongst other things. There is no indication in the historical record of whether the lack of these items caused a reduction in sin or not... 

I certainly don't plan on encouraging anyone to burn anything, however what I'm planning to do with CeorfanWorks for the next 6 months may well be an exercise that ends in the burning of my own vanities. 

Allow me to explain...

November 2016 I left my very good job in a software company as I wanted to take some time-out and decide what I wanted to do next with my life. Part of this was a desire to do something more hands-on with tangible end results as well as to spend a bit of time out the rat-race. This is not the first time I have done this and would highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking about a change, try reading Seth Godin - "What to do when its your turn" for inspiration.

This has meant a very enjoyable 6 months starting to learn a language (Italian), an instrument (guitar), getting fitter both mentally and physically and a bit of travel thrown in for good measure. In addition I've been organising a work space where I can start to use my software skills to create things using digital manufacturing. The main tool I'll be utilising is a CNC-Router which I'll explain more about in a future post. Essentially though its a robot that can be programmed to cut parts out of wood, plastic, aluminium etc. Something I have been around in one form or another for the last 20+ years. 

So where do the vanities come in?

My natural inclination is to approach this as strictly business, create a plan, find markets, opportunities, make products, market them, sell, repeat... A perfectly good approach if I just want to generate an income again. This time though I want to take a different approach as I have the luxury of a cushion of time (money) before I need to worry about it becoming self-sufficient. So for at least 6 months I plan to make what I want to make and to learn and explore the materials and technology. Or to put it another way - complete indulgence of my vanities.

Will anyone else like what I make?

I don't know, and I would like to say I don't care but that is probably not true. As such I'll be documenting the process, what I make and various other things associated with what I am doing on this Journal and in the Gallery. If anyone does find what I am doing interesting then that would be great. At the end of the 6 months I'll either be developing the potential for a business or just have spent a very enjoyable period of time enabling parts of my imagination to be made real, in one form or another.

As most of what I plan to make will be wood, then at least if it does become a bonfire of my vanities then it will burn well...

Thanks for reading,
James Booth

Savonarola Preaching Against Prodigality - Ludwig von Langenmantel

Savonarola Preaching Against Prodigality - Ludwig von Langenmantel