Week 18/26: Sound #BWProject26 .
We first met Stuart almost 18 years ago. He is a wood turner and he was standing smiling in his booth at a craft show. His wife stepped up at once and explained that Stuart was deaf, so she showed us his work as he looked on, smiling at us and doing his best to chat. Stuart had not been born deaf but had worked as a pile driver for many years and the vibration and loud sounds had gradually eroded his hearing. His wife explained to me that when deafness is caused by noise levels, a hearing aid is not good, because it increases the sound level, which then continues to cause even more hearing loss.
We saw Stuart a few times over the years and he always remained apparently accepting of his condition, smiling when we complimented him on his work and talking about it animatedly. I since found out that he had to put up a fight to get his hearing loss accepted as being work related so that he could receive a disability pension, but he never let on to us about his discouragements or concerns, continuing to turn and produce the things he loved to make.
A few years ago, Stuart had a cochlear implant and, he was able to hear for the first time in years. It was at first a bit strange to be able to speak to him in a more or less normal voice and have him respond, but everyone was so happy for him that this treatment had helped him to hear again. At last we were able to really get to know him properly.
We were all at the annual Nova Woodturners Guild BBQ the other day, when I saw Stuart sitting there listening to the conversation with a little smile on his face in response to what was being said. Those of us with no experience of such impairment can have no idea of the pleasure he must get when he can sit and listen to a conversation going on around him again.
So Stuart is my model for 'Sound', the theme for this project this week.
My photographic posts are all on my blog : www.elliekennard.ca .
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