April 26, 2008
This past weekend there was an Artist Studio Tour in the Listowel, Ontario area. One of the artists participating was John, our “Extreme Birdhouse” guy!
After Rick was done work on Saturday, feeling that the rain was going to stay away for the afternoon, we took the drive north to see his work first hand.
As we turned onto the road that we thought was the right one, it wasn’t long before I saw a building in the distance that looked like the playhouse that he has posted here at LJ. I knew we were almost there!
The building we saw was indeed the shed that John is building. (Oops, no picture, sorry).
The birdhouses are SO much more impressive in person. You really can’t get the true sense of size until you are standing beside one.
Here, I’m looking up to the peak of one of his monster creations.
This one, (not the best picture, sorry) took John over two years to build, primarily because he didn’t like it. Didn’t like it?? It’s amazing!! I still haven’t figured out how it could get the “don’t like” label.
While we were there John has a few visitors stop by as they took the tour to the various artists in the region.
Rick got some tips for building his next “extreme birdhouse”
And then John gave us a tour of his work areas
He has one space set up for cutting the boards. This keeps the sawdust in one spot (great idea) and gathers the bedding material for his… (ready for this?) 45 cats!!! All are adorable, I might add.
John has a second space for the actual woodworking, with the tools all organized and ready to build, build, build.
And then, in this old barn is where his supply of reclaimed lumber is stored. It seems that his source of unwanted wood is endless and he has enough wood to make thousands of birdhouses – or at least hundreds of birdhouses in the size that he likes them!
I didn’t get any pictures of the inside of the barn, with all the wood, because one look inside took me back to my childhood memories, of the days when I spent hours in our old barn, with similar stonework, beams, and old stairs to the second floor. You will just have to envision the stall after stall after stall of piles of wood!
All in all, it was a glorious afternoon—a nice drive (although it was starting to get to be a LONG one), getting to meet John (what a wonderful man and an inspiration!!!) and getting to see these pieces of art in person.
Rick and I wish John lots of luck with his plans for the future—more plans for sale, more birdhouse requests, and more promotion of his amazing talent.
-- ~ Debbie, Canada (http://www.execulink.com/~yohan)