Whether it be a sculpture or a functional piece, Material and process is very important to me. From concept to construction I think it is necessary to feel the piece grow.
Learning to properly sharpen has totally changed my approach to working wood. Hand tools have taken a much larger role in my process. I still use power tools for some operations, but there is just something about feeling a gossamer thin curl of wood peel off the edge of a plane iron.
Working wood with an edged tool like an axe or knife brings the process back to its fundamental premise, beauty of form is more readily available through the use of the knife.
I have a respect and a connection with the tools I use. Some of my tools are new, but many have been in my family for generations. Using a tool that's over a hundred years old somehow links me to the history of those who used it before.
Every tool has it's own job. They may not get used all the time, but they all get used.
Measure twice cut once... Don't ask me how I know that one.