Monday, November 18, 2013
Ben's Mill: Making a Sled
This is a fascinating documentary. Produced in 1981, it examines the work of Ben Thresher, a craftsman who straddles (straddled?) two different ages of technology. Ben runs a water-powered sawmill in Vermont, one of the last of its kind. The mill, built in 1848, is powered by a waterfall with all machines belt driven. There he produces all sorts of amazing, old-time products, from water troughs to horse sleds. His expertise is just amazing. I love how he deftly moves through the various steps in producing objects from wood and metal. Maybe what interests me the most is how he lives in two worlds. In this documentary you get a glimpse into a time when the world of craft was giving way to the world of industry, and for a brief time, coexisted. It is about a hour long, but well worth the time.