Recently I volunteered to install a few square meters of carpet tile in an obscure office at my son’s primary school. How hard could it be I asked, seeing that I am theoretically reasonably well-versed in various flooring techniques and methodologies… Perfect opportunity to score a few points with the local parents’ association and save the school some money. I should have known better.
My Saturday morning started off fairly well actually, that is until my brain got twizzeled in trying to maintain a respectable Tesselate pattern while applying adhesive thereunder. This combined with trying to keep my centre line parallel to the main feature wall and keeping the tile corners perfectly aligned. To say the least, I was a stressed out and a gluey mess by the end of it all and would have happily paid an experienced installer to finish it all off if it wasn’t for my pride and down right bullheadedness.
It’s not that I wasn’t aware of the theoretical process. It was more the practical balancing and juggling of adhesive trowels and tile alignment…that muscle memory and practised process that only hours of repetition and experimentation can instil.
Craftsmanship comes from repetition and continued practical refinement. Somehow my on-the-job experimentation could have gone horribly wrong yet it gave me insight no video or book could ever deliver. Nothing beats hands on experience.
It was a humbling moment and one that again really made me think about our total lack of any local training facilities where aspirants can gain access to tiered and ongoing skills development. While I love and will actively continue our Flooring Africa online training campaign, the need for a physical training facility could make great inroads into uplifting our local industry’s skill level. Being an avid social media consumer with a particular focus on the global flooring industry, viewing the beautiful training services and programs from around the world really inspires me to spark a local initiative.
Come on flooring world, who wants to step up and help start something in Cape Town, South Africa?
My flooring experience turned out rather well, yet so often other experimenters do not.