The glue pot never lies

I have been very busy for the past several months and have hardly done any leatherwork since the New Year. I’ve had my normal “day job” responsibilities and also have accepted a new job, with a move to Athens, GA coming in August. In many ways, I now have 2 jobs, along with selling a house, buying a house, coordinating our household move, and moving my research lab with 6 people. Phew! I get tired just thinking about it!

So I don’t feel guilty about not getting into the shop recently, but I do feel a bit out of balance. One of the main benefits I get from leatherwork is that it gives my brain a chance to reset, and I can see tangible results in a relatively short time. I also just like doing it and enjoy the time to think and listen to NPR or country western radio.

This weekend I got back to a few jobs, a bag that I had intended to finish for Christmas and a phone case that was ordered before the craziness entered my life. [Note to anyone wanting to order something: I’m not accepting orders until well after the move.]

The glue pot never lies.
The glue pot never lies.

There is an old saying that “the scale never lies”. I think this is a bit simplistic, but it must be basically true, at least if it weighs things at the same elevation and on the same planet (not that it would be a lie to report my weight as 35 lbs on the moon). The point is that the scale is a quick and easy reminder about your diet and health.

I realized yesterday that the loosely analogous metric for leatherwork is the glue pot. Glue pots are really wonderful things. They hold glue and keep it fresh, but you don’t need to unscrew any lid or pour anything. The cover is the handle for the brush. If you work each day or even each weekend, the design is perfect! It allows easy access to the glue with one hand and keeps the glue liquid. But if you go for many weeks or–in my current case–many months, the glue dries up. If it is a fairly short time of inactivity, all that is needed is a little thinner. But if it is a longer time, you need to dig the glob out. And the worst case is if it goes for a lot longer, your brush gets glued in, and you either replace the brush or the whole pot.

Glue, thinner, and glue pot: The true meaning of life.
Glue, thinner, and glue pot: The true meaning of life.

So the glue pot is a perfect metric of the balance in my life: fresh glue=I’m getting enough time in the shop; huge glob=I’m a bit stressed out. It is probably a good idea to find a few of these and check them regularly.

Author: edisonleatherworks

I'm a biochemistry professor and leatherworker who likes bicycles, travel, art, education, and music. Walking is my favorite form of transportation, and I regularly practice Tai Chi.

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