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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Heard

Every Atheist Needs: Jimmy Diresta

Jimmy Diresta in his shop

You can’t deny that feeling that washes over you when you’re doing something you absolutely love for no one else other than yourself. Crafting something with your hands, writing a short story, painting a portrait. These things can bring a profound, indescribable feeling, to which most attribute the term “spiritual”. It’s warm, it sort of glows, it changes your whole day.

We know it’s just about doing something for yourself and winning that sense of accomplishment; of having done something on your own of which you are proud.

I love this feeling because it comes from about as tangible a source as anything. You’ve watched your own hands do this, you’ve felt the materials you worked with under your fingertips, or even smelled it hours later when you hop in the shower. It’s real, it’s right there in front of you and it can be shared and seen and touched and felt.

This is not “spiritual”. It’s about as real as shit gets.

I am not sure if many of you know that Godless Mom is hooked on what Reddit likes to call, “Artisan Videos” . These are videos in which a master of a certain craft films himself doing that thing, and posts it for all to enjoy. Through the subreddit, Artisan Videos, I discovered several of these YouTubers who now suck up a lot of my time. I love Chef John from Food Wishes, and Frank Howarth with his incredible wood shop, and one of my biggest weaknesses is lathe videos. I could watch assholes turn wood for the rest of my life, happily. But the best of all the Artisan Video makers; the absolute best, is Jimmy.

Jimmy Diresta has had a few television shows about collecting garbage around New York City, fixing it up and reselling it. While that concept was interesting and the shows are worth checking out, they never really captured fully the talent and skill this man has. His own videos do, though.

There’s not a single material this guy doesn’t know how to work with. He works with wood, metals, castings, plastics, glass; he does carving, welding, woodturning, upholstering; he makes signs, furniture, tools, guitars and more. If you take the time to sit down and binge on some of his videos, you’ll find yourself in absolute awe of the sheer volume of skills this man has.

Godless Dad and I watch him like we can’t stop. He’s the inspiration behind some of the techniques I use to do my own paintings, and he’s inspired Godless Dad to build many things for me, my son and my parents. Most recently, GD built me the easel that turns that you see in my Vines:

He’s even become a verb in our house. Whenever we create anything with our hands, Godless Dad and I say we “Diresta’d it.”

Here are a couple of my favourite Diresta Videos:

The best thing about the machete one, is that in later videos, you can see Jimmy using the saw still, that he cut the machete out of. Jimmy doesn’t seem to care much for rules.

It’s not really that every atheist needs, Jimmy. I think everyone could do with a dose of  the Diresta YouTube channel.

Who’s your favourite artisan on YouTube?

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