Saturday, March 21, 2015

grounded and connected

I've uncovered two needs as I've journeyed into this woodworking career.


First, to become grounded in reality.  This means hands on woodworking.  Not dreaming about it, or saving pictures, or wishing to do it.  Just doing it.


At the same time, as I move into the reality of learning skills, making furniture, acquiring tools, attending workshops, meeting timber framers...another need surfaces.  It's the need to stay connected to my original vision.  What was the initial attraction to this journey?  What is the vision?

made a mano

Suddenly my folders of inspiration pictures become a valuable resource.  I can come back to them and see what was my attraction.

made a mano

 Because as I move into the real world, many of my teachers have another vision that drives them.  And I will learn from these people.  But ultimately I will return to my vision and create that which gives me joy.

made a mano

So my pinterest account, my tumblr page, these weren't a complete waste of time.  It is a connection to my dream.


I want to be grounded in my current woodworking practice.  And I want to stay connected to the dream that brought me here in the beginning.

Photo by Brian Ferry

Small cozy hand made homes.  Simple furniture with visible joinery.  Elements of a simple and satisfying life, both for the maker, and the owner.

Klaus Lictenegger

Sunday, March 15, 2015

japanese chisels

I'm researching Japanese tools in preparation for some purchases for my course this fall.  I came across these very high end chisels on

Look at the pattern on these chisels!

Is this even real?  It looks like some kind of silk!

And as the chisel is sharpened, the grain of the metal (I never knew there was such a thing) is revealed.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

toy box bench--done and delivered!

Today I delivered the finished toy bench to the friends who asked me to make it.  It was really exciting to see their reactions to it.

Here are a couple of more pictures:

Special supports hold the lid open if you lift it.  This is a necessity for a child's toy box.  The first hardware I installed was not strong enough to hold up the lid, so I got two stronger ones and they did the job perfectly.

Each board was sanded and its edges rounded with rasp, plane, or sandpaper prior to assembly.  It's important to me that the wood is smooth to the touch.

There were several mistakes along the way that I had to go back and fix, but I carefully fixed each one, taking my time.  It's incredibly satisfying to know that I'm giving them a quality product that will last.  I am hoping that it grows along with its baby owner, meeting different needs during each stage of her life.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

a functional entryway

meg farrels' hallway: design sponge

There are two pieces of furniture in this picture.  The wall mounted shelf with hooks creates usable hanging space for coats and bags.  Functional and decorative items sit above at eye level.

Below, a bench is a place to set a bag down, or sit and remove boots.  Footwear can be stored under the bench.

No expensive cabinetry is required.  Just two simple pieces that transform a bare hallway, so it becomes a convenient and homey place to transition from indoors to outdoors.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

perfect house

Houses don't need to be big.  They just need to be perfect.  Like this one.

With hand made twiggy railings and wood shingle roofs

Source: Small House Bliss
And plastered walls and beautiful green stillness around.

I'd love to make a house like this for myself.  Slowly, with time.  And I'd love to make perfect homes for others.  The workshops I take this summer will keep me moving toward that dream.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

starting on toy bench

I finalized the design with my clients.  This is a side view of the toy bench.

I found this design in a book on country furniture, and modified it:

After the design process was complete, I purchased the wood.  
Here is the wood stacked on the sawhorses I made at Hammerstone School's women's carpentry class.  They've come in handy!

Then I transferred my design onto the wood...

...and cut it out using my coping saw.  As my arms were burning, I was wishing I'd accepted the free jigsaw I was offered earlier this year!  However, there is a nice handmade irregularity to the cuts.

I've got two of these so far:

I'm interested to see how long this project takes.  And I'm loving the process!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

simple shelf

This shelf is made from 5 boards.  Hung on a wall, it transforms a space.


People need shelves like these on their walls.  Having objects like these on display, or at hand for use, makes a room feel more comforting.