A LumberJocks Journey (fictional) #2: the shop

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Blog entry by kolwdwrkr posted 11-16-2008 11:53 PM 986 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The beginning (fiction) Part 2 of A LumberJocks Journey (fictional) series Part 3: The inspiration part 1 »

As I drove down the hill with my load of hard worked for logs, I realized that maybe what I was going to make wouldn’t work, or maybe I didn’t even like the idea. You see the way an artist should think is controversal. He or she must refrain from the obvious, if it sounds simple and good then it probably isn’t that good of art. I don’t like making furniture that can’t depict a story. It must speak to the user. In fact I prefer this over funtion in most cases. It is my belief that furniture can go beyond function. When you look at a piece of furniture you may say, “That is a nice piece of furniture” and off you go. When it speaks to you it wants to have a conversation. It invites you to stay and look, maybe even listen. This may sound silly to some people but if you have made art, then you know how it feels to be drawn to it. When you see a piece of furniture made in this way you don’t say that it is nice and walk away. You stay awhile, you touch it, open it, and maybe if you listen hard enough you will hear it. If the piece is well executed it will speak volumes. So that is it. I won’t settle for something that I don’t feel. The idea I had was gone and my mind was blank. What will it become now. There was no inspiration at the moment. Looking at other furniture would only help me get ideas of a structure, but it will feel copied. I don’t feel good about that either. Nature has a way of inspiring me in many ways. The beauty of it can never actually be replicated, not even by itself. When nature changes with the seasons it changes forever. It will never be the same. So why should our art? Are we true artists if we use anothers ideas? I won’t lie, as a new artist, and with only 14 years of experience under my belt, I am inspired by other artists and have taken “basic” consepts from their works. A very good example is the piece I made that was inspired by James Krenov. The piece is inspired by his cabinet stands, but it takes on a different meaning to me. It has marquetry and other art that wouldn’t be typical to his work. So the basics of the the art was someone elses, the rest is mine. I am working on solving that issue, and making the entire piece mine. It is a difficult task, one of which I encourage everyone to attempt.
The day was passing by. The drive seemed to take forever, alone with only my thoughts and my logs. I don’t like distractions on adventures such as this, and I even refused to take my old labrador with me. She would have loved the trip, but she would have interupted my thoughts, and may have diverted me from my task. It wasn’t play time, and she loves to play. Stick throwing, spashing in the water then shaking off on me of course, chasing the creatures of the forest, etc. The things that keep one from accomplishing the task at hand in a timely manner. She will get her time.
I finally arrived at the shop. I stepped out of the truck and walked around. Looking into the bed my shoulders some what dropped. Those logs looked like a lot of work to get out, and I was tired. I could postpone it until the next day or I could just do the work and be done with it. Besides, getting them off the truck was just the beginning of a lot more work. I made my decision. It had to be done now. Surely getting them off the truck would be easier then getting them on. This was not the case. Each individual log wouldn’t budge without moving the other underneath, and the hoist would require me to get the steel choke cord around it. I’m not He-Man, nor do I have the ability to move them with telepathic powers. It would take muscle or some sort of trick to get them off without killing me. The only thing that had to be done was me getting the logs to agree that they would indeed be coming off that truck. Just as I was about to do the ‘ol backwards and break trick my buddy John showed up. Tired and groggy I confronted him.
“Did you drive all the way over here to help me or what”, I asked almost demandingly.
“I suppose if you need a hand, but there’s something we need to discuss afterwords.” he said.
I paid no attention to what he had said. I was just pleased to have him help me. With his help it was easy to get the logs off the truck. I had him help me get them positioned so I can begin sawing them into boards. After we unloaded we sat down for a cold one and he moved forward with his discussion.
“Well I have some bad news. Last night ‘ol Roy passed on. Seems as though he got himself into a little tight spot last night at the bar and left very angry and in a hurry. He shouldn’t have been driving and paid the price for it.” he sadly stated.
“I’m not sure what to say to be honest with you John. He was a very good friend but he would never listen to reason. He was always driving away from the bar when he shouldn’t have. When are they having the services?”
“I’ll let you know as soon as I find out, he said. So, what is it that you intend on doing with those logs?”
“I thought I knew but now I’m not sure.” I replied.
There was silence for a little while. Only discussing some memories of Roy, and this and that. The day was over and I was tired. The next day I woke up a little late. I was discouraged about my project and honestly didn’t even want to bother. But I had to do something. So I went out and began marking the logs to be cut. I snapped a chalk line down one side and started sawing. So long as I was on the line my experience would guide the saw fairly level. These cuts were only rough cuts and the work would pass over a jointer at some point. I rough cut all the logs down to 12/4 and stacked them onto stickers in the barn. It would be a few months before this project could move forward so the material could dry to a satisfactory moisure level. In the mean time it gave me the opportunity to make a few other things on commission and a memorial piece for ‘Ol Roy. He was a true friend and despite his problems he was always there for me. I made a bench and took it to our favorite fishing hole. It was the location that would give me my inspiration to continue on my project.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

9 comments so far

View Allison's profile


819 posts in 3795 days

#1 posted 11-17-2008 01:20 AM

I am so sorry for your loss of your friend. What a wonderful thing you did with the bench. What a great “gift”
Again I am sorry for your loss,

-- Allison, Northeastern Ca. Remember, Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic!

View Allison's profile


819 posts in 3795 days

#2 posted 11-17-2008 01:22 AM

It just dawned on me that you are from Southern Ca. My son was evacuated last night from his home, but believe it or not he was allowed to go home this morning. I hope you and your family is out of harms way!

-- Allison, Northeastern Ca. Remember, Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic!

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 3676 days

#3 posted 11-17-2008 02:04 AM

Sad to hear of your friend passing.

Along the lines of letting the wood or design or end result/project tell you what it should be, I’m a firm believer in this idea. If you just go at it, then you aren’t doing what needs to be done. By the way, I feel this way mostly about using good quality woods, if I’m jus making a simple pine bookshelf, oddly I don’t feel the same way.

I’ll add that YES, you are still an artist if you “borrow” ideas from other works. There are so very few original ideas (it seems) anymore, so one can never be sure that you will design and build something totally original.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 3811 days

#4 posted 11-17-2008 02:16 AM

Thanks for the picture.

It’s a rare bird indeed that can come up with something completely un-borrowed. Each generation borrows from the ones that came before. It’s the temporal way of the universe.

-- Scott - Chico California

View Grumpy's profile


23916 posts in 3847 days

#5 posted 11-17-2008 04:27 AM

kolwdwrkr, sorry to hear the sad news.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6855 posts in 3976 days

#6 posted 11-17-2008 04:45 PM


I’m sorry to hear about your friend.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3586 days

#7 posted 11-17-2008 06:41 PM

Allison, So far we are out of harms way. I doubt that I can say that about some previous customers though. Thanks for the worries. I wanted to say that I did lose a very good friend to drunk driving. But I wanted to say that this story is fiction. It says it in the headline. So it is made up. What is the point you ask. Well the point is that everyone that does educational writing writes in a manner that is scholastic. I want to educate people differently and do it through story. In this story I will discuss in details the process of making a piece of furniture, how to use the tools, and why some things need to be done certain ways for aesthetic purposes and for safety. This is basically a story book meant to be educational, and if it is agreed at the end that it is a well written, thought out, and educational piece I may persue publishing.
I appreciate the comments so far and I hope everyone continues to read. I would also request that their be feed back too, positive or negative. If people say they don’t think this story should continue, please post a comment stating this with the reasons why.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View dustygirl's profile


862 posts in 3725 days

#8 posted 11-17-2008 07:00 PM

Sorry you lost your friend.What a great thing you did by building and taking the bench to your favourite fishing hole.

-- Dustygirl..Hastings,Ontario.. How much wood can 1 gal chuck if 1 gal can't cut wood?

View Allison's profile


819 posts in 3795 days

#9 posted 11-18-2008 07:53 PM

Well it just goes to show, the headline does not make the story. When I got this post I got it through the e-mail because I have you down as a “Buddy”, Now today I received what I guess is the 3rd installment and I noticed
right away the word “Fictional” That’s why I came back to this post. Keep up the story, itis a nice approach, I for one like it. Sorry about missing the “fiction” part.

-- Allison, Northeastern Ca. Remember, Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic!

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