The value of a classical education is in the laying of a foundation for your work to follow. One learns joinery in order to learn accuracy plus patience and the myriad ways there are to build. For instance, there are a dozen or more ways to build a box, but each situation requires an evaluation and then a decision. Your decision on joinery will depend upon factors like your knowledge or skill, the available tooling options, economy or speed, enjoyment, and finally how late the project is. [If...
Fine woodworking is not crafty. It is craft. It takes time, effort, and a commitment to excellence. It requires persistence and a willingness to overcome failure, repeatedly. It takes practice and patience and then more of both. It is as rigorous and as rewarding as learning a musical instrument or teaching your body ballet or the tango. It is formal and full of expression. There are rules to follow and rules that bend. It is cumulative in its knowledge and yet so vast that no one can know al...
Tools are meant to be used by humans. I think that we learned to think by using them. By using tools, our hands made a connection to our brains and then our curiosity gene dove in and our minds grew because of this. We discovered so much about the world poking about in it with our hands. And by using the power of the wedge, we learned to do all sorts of things from carving to cleaving to sawing and planing. We are humans and that means we need to keep making that connection between hand an...
In Pete Dexter’s book Deadwood, Wild Bill Hickok’s partner, Charley Utter, is thinking to himself, “He liked having a drawer, it was a neatness you could see just sliding it open.” Making drawers requires a precision and calm missing from some other jobs around the shop. Cleaning out the dust collector comes to mind. Or hand planing some misbegotten wood like a rowed grain khaya. Drawer building on the other hand needs careful measuring, straight parts, and clear thinking to do a good job....
Design starts with a pattern in the sky, a curl in the stem of a plant, the swirl in a coffee cup. It starts with an idea. There is no one single place from which it begins. And so the designer must grab serendipity when it strikes and use it as a stepping stone, a starting point, and then choose from the infinite number of choices then possible. Inspiration is serendipitous. Design on the other hand is hard work and trials and errors and execution. It is iteration and reiteration. It has ...
Think about how you look at others’ work. You don’t look for every mistake. You look at the scope of the project, the effort required. You consider the time spent on design. You see the form, the choice of wood and think about the time taken to mill the lumber. The hours spent on joining pieces together and the detail in the joinery and the weeks spent on shaping and sanding and how the hardware is hung. You step back and look at the whole piece and you know in your heart how much...
Actually, Marc Spagnuolo, aka The Wood Whisperer, and I got together in May to do some work in his shop. I was in the Phoenix area for my mom’s birthday and took some time to meet Marc and visit his place. Take a look at the Jewelry Box we put together. It was fun work. Jewelry Box If you’re coming to Portland, learn about 3 Simple Finishes with me next week at the Studio, 7/24-26. The Northwest Woodworking Studio.
We forget that the moon is out. We forget that rivers run underneath us. We forget that we can make things with our hands and heart.We believe that the world is now held in the palm of our hands. It is instead all around us. We just have to look up and notice it.Remember to remain curious. Believe that you don’t have the only way of doing things. Keep open to change. Forgive yourself your mistakes and keep doing good work. The Northwest Woodworking Studio
How do people engage with your furniture? They look at the form first of course. If they like the shape ofa piece, then they approach it. They eye it to see the wood and the sheen of it. Always, without fail, the very next thing they do is touch the piece. Everyone loves to put their hands on wood because it’s warm, it’s inviting. And if there’s a finish on the wood, then what folks will be touching is that finish. You have to pay attention first to how that finish looks and next how it feels...
A Mastery student of mine came through town to visit. Over 10 years ago he studied with me and he’s building still. Not as much as he’d like but it’s a tough game this woodworking world. Not everyone understands how much time it takes and how much skill. Nor do most people appreciate how long it takes to develop that skill. This isn’t a new hobby for folks that they get good at in a couple of weekends. It takes work. It takes dedication, commitment, practice. I have always found it interes...
- My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer - 1387 parts
- Extremely Average - 324 parts
- Workshop Development - 107 parts
- A journey into the workshop. - 89 parts
- Daily Update - 87 parts
- Just for Fun... - 84 parts
- "Hobbit Holes in MyWorld" --by RusticWoodArt - 77 parts
- As The Lathe Turns - 76 parts
- WoodWriting Haiku Thursday's --by RusticWoodArt - 74 parts
- The Craftsman's Path - 67 parts
- Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) - 1410 entries
- frank - 417 entries
- degoose - 394 entries
- dbhost - 389 entries
- Ecocandle - 325 entries
- MsDebbieP - 314 entries
- Karson - 305 entries
- Martin Sojka - 296 entries
- William - 258 entries
- mafe - 229 entries
- Betsy - 221 entries
- Stevinmarin - 212 entries
- Gary Fixler - 204 entries
- Todd A. Clippinger - 193 entries
- Rustic - 185 entries
- Chris Davis - 183 entries
- shipwright - 180 entries
- BritBoxmaker - 166 entries
- stefang - 164 entries
- PurpLev - 163 entries