I was invited to show at a fine woodworking exhibition at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana. The show is currently going on now and running 3 months until Jan 27th.
There is a total of 25 woodworking artists showing and I am very honored to be counted among them. They are certainly a group of high-caliber artisans.
There are also two other LumberJock members also showing at the exhibition – Andy Chidwick and Scott Morrison. It is pretty cool to think that 3 LumberJock members are showing at the same museum exhibition for fine woodworking.
The curator requested that I build a prairie chandelier for the exhibition. At first it was “chandeliers” – plural – because I had originally built two. At a certain point I was told there would only be room for one, by then, I already had the parts milled and joinery cut for two units. But I only needed to assemble one.
It was better that I only had to build one because they are technically more challenging to assemble than it looks. That means it was taking longer than I thought and I was way behind, even for assembling just one chandelier.
I enlisted the help of a good friend, Mike Pasini. He is a pretty talented guy that I can trust and get along with in the shop. If anyone is “the chosen one” to spend time in my shop – it is Mike. He also helped me out with the bookcase for charity earlier this year.
OK, I really am understating Mike’s help – he really saved my bacon in both instances! For those that followed me on Twitter and FB, they were getting a first-hand account of the drama as I worked non-stop and ran into unexpected problems with my compressor and the finish.
Anyway, I pulled a few 30 hour days in the shop and barely got done in time. But, as it stands now, I have a prairie chandelier hanging on display in a museum for a fine woodworking exhibition.
Opening weekend was great. I got to hang out with a couple dozen high-end woodworkers and share in some great conversation. It really nourished me as an artist.
One thing that became clear is this, we all seem to share a very similar experience as we make our living as artists and craftsmen. My experiences are not unique, they are common to those that choose this life. And we cannot help but to express ourselves through our work and try to make a living at it.
If you are in the vicinity of the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, MT I highly recommend checking out the exhibition.
For those that wonder how do you get into something like that, all I can say it is a lot of hard work in the shop growing as an artist and craftsman, and never underestimate the importance of making connections. I have not lacked for the hours spent in the shop, being honest with myself in my work, and networking.
What you are seeing, is the glamorous result of a lot of hard work. I certainly don’t want to discourage anybody, that aspires to achieve the same, I am just letting you know what it takes.
The dining set that my chandelier hangs over is built by Tim Carney of Helena, MT. It is a stunning dining set that really helps make my chandelier look great.
For more information on the backstory and design, check out the chandelier in the project gallery.
That is all for now. Until next time, be safe in your own shop.
Your friend in the shop,
Todd A. Clippinger
Share the Love~Share the Knowledge
-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com