Custom woodworking and art
I gave myself a challenge to complete this week between my day job and the mundane groundhog day grind that has been accompanying my life recently. The challenge was to build a piece of furniture in less than 8 hrs total (spread out over the week) all from material that was considered waste at the job site (free). That means from the birth of the idea (such as it was) to the completion it needed to be built quickly. Why?
I’ll tell you why, when I first started flirting with building furniture 15 years ago I built some stuff that looked like fred Flintstone and Homer Simpson were coming home from the bar late at night in the yaba daba mobile and it collided into a lumber truck. Now that you have a visual, I at the time being somewhat egotistical thought like many young furniture builders that I was on my way to being on the cover of Fine Woodworking or that Sam Maloof was going to call any day now and request my help on a special project.
That is to say until I read (most of) The Soul of a Tree by Nakashima which rocked my world and consequently my confidence too. One of the bad things about being young and having a big ego is you think that you should always be first and if you can’t be first it’s best not even to play. Although I did continue to play and read and the more I played and the more I read the better I executed. Furniture that was once deemed brilliant and placed in our home with honor was thrown onto the burn pile and replaced with something I felt more refined. It was more refined but as the years went by I noticed I was burning more pieces than I was building because as soon as a piece developed a flaw during the building process I drug it out of the shop in a fit of semi-controlled rage and burned it. Which then evolved into a budding part-time furniture builder that was taking it all way to serious and along the way I had lost something in translation. I started to over think and build things that attempted to look like the studio furniture that I had fallen in love with. Something that could maybe someday be coveted by the yuppies that made Maloof a very rich man.
That’s the problem with taking something you love and trying to turn it into something else. When I first approached building furniture I did so with bliss and ignorance and sure most of it was way out of scale and poorly executed and it disgusted me to have it in the house constantly reminding me of my failures. But what it did posses is (my) creativity which as it turns out might look a little like a drunk driving accident involving Fred and Homer.
So back to the challenge its purpose I suppose was to continue to remind me that I’m no Maloof not even close not even in the same ball park and most likely will never be. That’s ok ,life is short way to short to follow someone else’s path. Because if the yuppies or the studios ever do find me someday I want it to be honest and raw and not over wrought with pretentious bullshit but built by someone who has learned much from the masters most of all follow the love first and fuck all the rest.
The bookshelf /media cabinet/ put your stuff in it thing was built with plywood left over after a cabinet job the cedar strips were off cuts from making spindles for a porch and the door is a cast iron clean out door for a masonry fireplace.
The reason that the pics seem slightly smokey is due to my wife’s 5$ find at a garage sale. A little chief smoker loaded with some salmon jerky and alder. Life is good.
|“If I shall sell both my forenoons and afternoons to society, as most appear to do, I’m sure that, for me, there would be nothing left worth living for.”|
|Henry David Thoreau|