Thursday, July 26, 2007


sculpted by lew french.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


i'm wondering if a frustrated person can gather energy like a coiled spring. at the right moment, it can propel them in the direction they must travel.

if there is something in you that doesn't have freedom, the desire for self-expression intensifies.

i know that if you are frustrated too long, you can atrophy and suffer. i guess i'm just thinking about the short term type of frustration--the one i'm currently experiencing as i dream of having a shop and workbench, as i work on projects i didn't dream up.

if you always had that freedom, there might not be the burning passion driving your creative work that a once-frustrated person had. what do you think?

Monday, July 23, 2007

i took this picture when i was home. kittens are pure joy.


i had the interview; i am not sure where it will lead. i need a break, so part of me wants to delay the job hunting for a bit. it's been a very long, busy summer. i know i'm excited about working in remodeling. i hope that a job will not be too hard to find.

one more week of taking the train. new york is invigorating, but most of the time i'm too tired to take advantage of being there--and i just head home right after class. if i were more well-rested i'd check out more galleries, museums, stores, maybe a movie.

today we practiced lifting & carrying 4 by 8 sheets of dry wall and setting them down carefully. they weigh 40 lbs and are awkward. we will be framing a wall tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

possible interview!!

wow...i just talked to a contractor who does remodeling--and i may be meeting him for an interview thursday! the job doesn't pay super well, but it's exactly what i'd like to do, and the owner sounds like a good person.

in other news, i made a miniature chair from scraps of wood. i don't have my camera or i'd post a picture. i found a picture of a simple bench in a magazine and sketched it and then assembled the 8 pieces with 12 small nails. it's so exciting!

i also found a pile of great wood on the side of the street sunday evening in the trash, so i rescued it all and it's in my trunk. i really need a workshop! a workbench, a vise, power tools.

things are winding up (not down) in these last 2 weeks of class. we made frames yesterday, and today we were busy cutting wood to make a bench. when we are done, we will spend the last week at the new york distric council of carpenters where we will frame a room--studs, drywall, ceiling, and all.

i know i complained about the slow pace, but this last bit makes up for it all. the girls who have stuck it out are getting excited. it's fun to finally see good results from our work.

Monday, July 09, 2007

week 4 begins

i've been pretty frustrated & bored in class. we're learning things very slowly. the other day i was reading my "Green Home" book after finishing the assignment, and the instructor told me i had to put it away. very strange.

however, today i found true love--i was blown away by the beauty of planing wood and feeling its shape. without regard to the dimensions my pieces were required to have, i began shaving up curls of thin wisps, in search of the lovely sheen--almost a shimmer--of smooth pine.

working around knots is a challenge. maybe there are techniques to be discovered. anyway, my hands want to have a workbench, a vise, and a block plane. i'm excited about discovering this.


three more weeks? should i stick it out? i've had serious thoughts of quitting--and have looked at job ads.

but a discovery like today's that brings me profound inspiration is worth a lot. suddenly, i can imagine restoring furniture, giving boards an organic curve as my plane follows the contours of the life of a tree.

Monday, July 02, 2007

carpentry, day 1

today began the third week of the six week course. carpentry, finally! we were all pretty excited. many of the women are listing carpentry as their area of interest.

two experienced, retired union carpenters are our teachers. interesting, good people. they talked to us about what to expect on the job, benefits, retirement, career advice, work advice. we took a quiz on safety, and then headed downstairs to the workshop.

our job was to carry heavy, bulky objects up the stairs, out of the building, part way down the block, and then back inside and down the stairs again. we did this first with a 61.7 pound bucket of compound, and then with other, lighter objects such as ladders, tool boxes, a tripod, and a wretchedly heavy old pipe. two trips with each.

it's training, and after lunch we did three trips up and down three flights of stairs to top it off. then some work with fractions and measurement, and an intro to different measuring devices.

while waiting for a quiz to be graded, i sketched the work bench that we will be building. i'll put it here when i get my camera back from a friend. sketching in 3d is a challenge for me, but i love the geometry of it.

i'm anxious to start. by the end of the six weeks, i am told that we will build a room, complete with studs and dry wall and maybe a ceiling.


in other news, i just sold my air conditioner. it feels good to be rid of a bulky, electricity gobbling appliance that makes a lot of noise. more space in my closet. and i slept fine under the fan during that last big heat wave. plus, less is more. i'm hoping to need less and thus work less in the future.

my knees are worrying me a bit. stairs to the train and the subway, stairs to my apartment, back down to the basement three times for laundry, on top of all the stair work we did today. hopefully a good sleep will help with the strain i'm feeling. also the coming holiday.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

super wiped out. lots of good things are happening in my life, but there isn't much spare time or space to keep up with other good things.

4 weeks to go. after that i can get my footing back. for now, i'm sneezing, wiping my nose, and heading to bed for that early alarm.