Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Woodworking 101

Dang do I like working with wood. It is such a relaxing, refreshing and satisfying activity. The problem is… I never can find the time to do it!!!! I assume that I am not the only one with that problem. If it isn’t activities with the kids or yard work or the job that pays the bills, it’s the spousal list. You know. The list of things that are important to get done, at least in the mind of your loving spouse, but you also never seem to find time to do!! And they just get in the way of doing what really is fun. So after you have found the time, at least some time, and you have been able to cross off (endorphin rush) just a few of the items on the list, you steal away to the woodshop (the back corner of the basement). AHH…. At last. Let’s make some sawdust.

I recently asked my Mother if I could take home a small end table with a turned pedestal, I had made in Jr. High School. She had cared for it with love and tenderness for the past 30 years, keeping it in perfect condition for it’s eventual return to my house. Bless her heart she said yes. This little table’s presence in my house has given me renewed interest and commitment to returning to the activity I have always loved and struggled to find or take time for. So then I went looking for the other projects I had completed, or nearly completed over the years. I found the Snow Shoes, wooden bowl, bookshelf, Canoe Paddle, Minnesota plaque, and various Pinewood Derby cars and birdhouses. Not all of these are high quality craftsmanship, but what the heck, I made them, and a couple of them are pretty darn nice.

I believe that many of us in this world are looking for and needing a creative outlet. I can attest to the fact that making something with your own hands, whether out of the Mighty Oak or pine, uncovering that Magical Grain and seeing the results of your hidden talent can be pretty darn satisfying.

What are your past projects that show your talent or desire for woodworking? I’d love to hear about them. I will post some pictures of my stuff as soon as I figure out how. They wont fit in my scanner…


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Mighty Oak

The mighty Oak is an amazing source of strength and power. Its slow and steady nature insures that maturity and wisdom run deep. Oak can be depended upon to be rich in character and true to form. When given the chance to push its roots deep into fertile soil, Mother Nature takes over and a beautiful thriving life emerges and reaches for the stars. The Oak provides for many other inhabitants of the world around it. Caring for them in ways that at times are imperceptible and at other times enhance their life force and purpose. Then the time comes when the mighty Oak reaches a transition in its service to the world. It enters the woodshop and is honed and crafted in new ways, providing again for the creatures around it through its strength and beauty. It gives of itself in order to become a work of art. A lasting vision of confidence, quality and authority, while remaining quiet, steady and dependable. We can learn a lot from Oak.

Find a piece of Oak and let it make your day……


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Magical Grain

I can't be the only one that really appreciates the magic of finding the grain in a chunk of tree. Hidden deep in the core, developed over years of growth and weathering, it hides. It is the single essence of beauty that makes the effort all worthwhile. It gives the work character, grace and depth. It shows maturity, strength and quality. The grain of the wood is the prize, whether finished with simple stain or multiple coats of hand-rubbed wax, it is the magical luminescence that makes the raw fingers and saw dust covered work area all worth it.

Find the magic in your project? I would like to hear about it.