"Workshop Principles" --by RusticWoodArt

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Blog entry by frank posted 08-17-2007 02:59 PM 1325 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Workshop Principles

….taking time out,
as i waundered home after the days work,
is an intoxicating drink of heady ale,
where those who stop and drink can soon get lost in an-other time and era….

And it is in these places where I oft do stop, to taste my dreams and set them free….so I invite you to come along and lets cover some ground in these forest of trees where ones, such as I can still dwell.

These were taken around 7:00 pm the other night as I was coming in from after work. And as it was getting dark in the woods you will see pictures where shadows of dark and light mix in the coming throes of thunderstorms yet to be.

I work in the woods quite often for long periods of time, throughout the four seasons and so it is by this way of thinking that I call my ‘workshop the woods’. Yes, I have a barn which can be also called a workshop, but then there are also rooms in the house such as my office here that sometimes take on the nature of the beast called workshop. My truck also is a workshop, from which I can then transfer characters called ‘wood tools’ into other’s domains, inside or out which then become workshops. And so with and in all these workshops, there yet remains one true place where I go and work….and this one place is the woods that so surround me, my ‘workshop’.

My ‘workshop’ in the woods is three hundred and sixty degrees of fruit-full living that lives in; fall with color, winter with snow, spring with new life or summer with an abundance of all, where there is the never un-ending chatter of talk that is constantly going on in the woods. Life and death are never far apart out here….and in these woods there dwells the reality of no-second chance. What I have learned by working in these woods, comes not from some book or watching some show produced to grease the ego’s of ones who have never felt the ground shake when a mighty oak falls flat on it’s face. The stories I have heard are the stories that other’s tell, since out here you usually don’t tell a story about some mis-take or mis-step you have made….dead men tell no-stories and the stories told of them are the lessons I have learned. Pay no-attention to these stories and I will just as soon be a lesson story that some other is teaching about ‘working with wood’.

I work by myself much of the time in the woods and so I understand that whenever I go in, the way I come out, is by how well I have payed attention to the stories told often enough of other’s. Out here even though I carry a cell phone….the reality ‘just is’, that much of the time I am so far in and buried with over hanging tree growth that there is no such thing as tower rception getting in to where I am. I have learned to never work wood with any kind of tool on a full stomach, since it is after eating that one becomes less responsive to the fine detail of safety, less on the ‘live edge’ that keeps one alive. I have learned that when working in my ‘workshop’ in the woods, to treat every-one with the same amount of respect by which I treat myself….one strike and you are out. The one who survives a kickback with a 3.9 hp chainsaw, will not understand that with a 7.1 hp kickback you are not going to walk away….so once again, one strike and you are out of the game. How do I explain why there are many ways to drop a tree, but there is one I can never explain and that one is the ‘widowmaker’....which becomes the story told of you, as other’s feel sorry for the widow you left behind.

My ‘workshop’ in the woods is my life and is ever giving forth an abundance of life, but pay no-attention to the voices that speak herein and one will soon find out the ways of wood that can be so unforgiving! And I also know that there are those who will tell the stories of those who were working alone with no-help in sight, but in my experience it has been often times more dangerous to work with other’s….these are my principles and the ones I have chosen to live by and in the end they will also serve me as the ones that I…..

....and so here I am coming home the other night and turning down this trail, this is the piece of ‘wood art’ that caught my attention and started me on this ‘exposure of trail nature,....darkness, light and shadows, all bonding and mixing to tell a tale…. come along and lets go see what the woods have to show us as we pass on through,....

....and if I may let me also introduce you to ‘boss hog’, the ‘foreman’ who providing ue with transportation as we cover some ground herein and cut through one of the never ending stone walls that make up so much of New England woods,....

....the green ground cover of ferns is one of the most beautiful sights that one can see in these woods, also this is one sight we will soon be seeing often this fall as we are clearing and sleeping out. We also call this place ‘oak corner’ as we now make a turn and go deeper in….

....pausing now at what is called ‘bear scratch’ trail, we can look within to what appears to be an environment of darkness. I will have to give an-other tour into here some day, since for now we had best get moving along….

....moving along at a quicker pace we can now stop and pause, before entering into the trail ahead….

....and looking over to our left we see the remains of a mound of rocks and this is also one of several such places where I will also come and sit for hours and watch the woods come alive….

....yes, I will be coming into this area soon enough to work these logs for some winter firewood, cut these last summer and it’s time to get in here and start making some sweat….

....well before we leave this area, lets stop and look up….

....riding out we will take the trail to the left….

....hang on now, since ‘boss hog’ is wanting to kick the pace up some….

....pausing again, we can look to the right and see the break in an-other stone wall that leads one to ‘moose walk’ trail, so named since we often see an activity of moose in this area….

....this is a new trail that we cut out last December over Christmas time and still as of yet un-named and much un-defined. So hold on as we kick the throttle for an up-ward climb….

....nearing the top we can stop and have a look around. This is also a favorite of mine and one I return to often when the season of winter snows is upon us here….

....riding on by we can lookf over to the left and see a place where stories are still being told….

....passing on through we now pass by some stands of white pine, waiting soon enough for a sawmill….

....every once in a while I get a picture that strikes me and catches my attention. And so I ended up here the other night for about thirty minutes as I just kept on clicking away at the clouds of stories and art that where passing through this window in the sky. Breaking the veil that so surrounds us, can be as easy as stepping on through….

...and let me say that it has been a delight to have you along and I hope you enjoyed this as much as I, as I now kick for home….

Thank you.

….tales are told by the watchers in the woods, and if one will but listen to these ‘ancients of old’, your creations will be as coming with life, as these are stories of ‘wood art’....

-- --frank, NH,

9 comments so far

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4304 days

#1 posted 08-17-2007 03:10 PM

Wow, Thanks for the story and pictures that remind me of home. Have a terrific day, Frank!

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4158 days

#2 posted 08-17-2007 04:21 PM

nice shop, Frank!
Love the view :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View jude's profile


147 posts in 3947 days

#3 posted 08-17-2007 05:33 PM

great story! thanks for sharing.

-- life can always be weaved into a song.

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 4084 days

#4 posted 08-18-2007 04:13 AM

I wish I had all those woods to explore Frank. All my favorite places down here have houses or roads going through them now. Thanks for the trip.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4398 days

#5 posted 08-18-2007 04:46 AM

Great trip Frank. I used to enjoy the walk through my woods in New Jersey. I might have to go out and make some trails in the woods behind my house. About 10 Acres worth. Belongs to someone else.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View 's profile

593 posts in 3970 days

#6 posted 08-19-2007 03:57 AM

Damn Frank, this is a great place and a wonderful story. Where is exactly your neck of the woods (pun intended)?

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 4204 days

#7 posted 08-20-2007 01:40 AM

Hello to all;
—-Ron; might be better if you were up here since we don’t have to deal with hurricanes. Anyways I’m glad the story had an effect on you and thanks for the WOW!....

—-Debbie and Jude; thank you….

—-Bob; I know what you mean when it comes to ‘urban re-newal’....

—-Karson; never too late to start making those trails and then who knows, if the trees start talking….

—-hey Jojo; I’m glad to see that the story made a mark upon your mind and verbal expression all in one boot to hoot. But of course, I all-ready knew it was great story and a great place….haha! My ‘neck of the woods’ is New England, not old England and then we can fine tune down into New Hampshire and setting our resolution even finer we now can zoom into what is called the Lakes Region….central NH. By the way, I’m reacting lately, to none of those wonder-full stories you have have to share with us from Japan, temple carpenters and their special ‘wood joinery’, temples, shrines and daily life in Japan. Also great hearing from you….

Thank you.

-- --frank, NH,

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6855 posts in 3977 days

#8 posted 08-21-2007 03:19 AM


You do have a magical touch with words. I can only aspire…


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View 's profile

593 posts in 3970 days

#9 posted 08-21-2007 07:15 AM

Lee, nobody can equal our poetry guru! :o)

Thank you Frank. Went to take a look in Google Earth… Some nice lakes you have over there, and it’s not exactly trees or wood what you are missing around! It looks as a wonderful place, at least from the satellite pics. Wasn’t NH the state with the highest quality of life in the USA? I seem to recall having found a website about this a few years ago.

As for my simple tales from the east, thank you for your kind words. I do my best in trying to convey some of the feelings and differences between our cultures but I’m not sure if I always get it right. Nothing like living in Japan for vanishing of your mind all the languages you may be fluent in. :o(

Anyway, I expect to restart posting this week, now that my visiting friends went back home.

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