Nine years ago I thought this blog would last less than a year before running out of ideas but 507 posts later here we are. Thank you all for sticking around and for the wonderful comments you’ve offered. You make the blog better in every way, with your thoughtfulness and generosity.

Like many niche activities, our craft has its own traditions, language and insider culture. The central question I’ve asked over the years is this: Have we become so focused on the individual pieces, that we’ve lost sight of the whole picture? Have we forgotten that we practice a hobby, rather than merely spend money to keep one going?

Traditions and legacy are both a foundation and a trap. The legacy of the craft gives perspective but it’s easy to become stuck in it and believe we’ve conquered the mountain.

We’re here. Enjoy the view.

It’s tempting to rest easy, and think everything worth doing has been done. Yet, new ideas are the lifeblood this craft needs to keep moving forward.

The technology of the craft changes daily and will keep on changing. In a craft this mature, how we do things is less relevant than why we do them. We can model whatever we want today. One can buy it off the shelf, or design and print the items on your own.* The barriers to entry for these skills continue to plummet as the technology keeps improving. We can express almost any theme imaginable with these tools. The question is: what do we want to say?

A craft as diverse as ours deserves a grown-up conversation; one that appreciates the past but isn’t hog-tied to it. We need a conversation that looks toward the future and open to new ideas about the value the craft offers beyond the narrow range we cling to. Our lives are different today. There are more demands on our time than ever. Always connected, a simple ping from your phone can reshuffle your weekend before it even gets started. A hobby has to adapt to such realities. We need a conversation about why this craft matters and what it means to each of us.

You’re not a generic marketing demographic. You’re an individual with unique experiences, skills and choices to consider. A satisfying layout is more than a formula or set of rules to follow. You deserve encouragement and the tools to discover your own answers and choices.

This blog is a trust. You come here with an expectation for something different: ideas that challenge your thinking, a voice and point of view not heard elsewhere. I want to do better. I want to step up the quality of the writing, speak more clearly to your interests and not waste your precious time. This conversation is just getting started.


*For an example of this check out Rene Gourleys’ latest blog post.


  1. Simon

    As I have said before, your blog makes me think.

    One of the things I think, is “I am so glad Mike has maintained this adult-oriented blog about the hobby”.

  2. mike

    As always, your participation helps me think.