Hack and Saw

Feature, Woodworking

My nine-to-five requires a lot of construction, and I’m okay at it. Not great. But when I have time to devote to making things I really enjoy piecing together lumber and turning it into useful things. Those days of plowing through Legos must have planted a seed. Only now I get to make custom pieces without having to dig through piles of plastic.

Sometimes I need to pivot. My five-to-nine, drawing and printing, can tap me out so when I start running dry, but still have the urge to create, I’ll start looking for other ways to bang my head against the wall. I’ve made music, writings, home improvement projects, taken photographs, and blown my brains out on video games. Lately a few people have taken notice of the woodworking I’ve been doing. Not really sure why.

Take this standing desk (gallery above): built from scratch, stained, and covered in a sleek polyurethane coat. Made from lumber – I guess you could say recycled or maybe it’s reclaimed wood; I’m not sure – scrapped from previous theatre shows. It was a request by a teacher I work with and it turned out alright.

Like most things I cook up this desk is simple in design. After all my brain can only handle so much processing. There are a few rough spots, but overall it will provide a stable platform for a least a couple of years. I think it’ll do fine considering, though I did get a chance to put a bit more work into this particular model, so it’s above par for my standard. Not sexy, but functional.

The strange thing is people seem to like the work. One of the things that I’ve noticed is that when I get to talking about all the work that goes into a particular project you can see a look of “impressed” slowly materialize over their faces as the begin to understand the amount effort required. We don’t hear about handmade things very often and I think I forget that not everyone is a hack craftsman like me. It’s not complicate work, but it can be hard work and maybe we have forgotten what that’s like in this modern age of technology and information. More than a few people think that’s one reason why craft fairs have become so popular. I’m inclined to agree.

So long as people like this stuff I’ll keep making it. And it’s my goal to always use lumber that people might want to throw away. Trying to do my part in controlling waste in a wasteful society. Let me know what you think by hitting that little “Like” button in the corner and stay tuned for more to come.

Made A Thing

Random Thoughts

 This weekend is my first art walk and I needed a display. So I made one. DIY bitches.

Video: Craftsmanship and Artistry of Michael Robbins

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/103684916 w=750]

Honing a craft. It’s what drives us to build hobbies and create cools things for people to enjoy, sometimes without making a dime. Finding that passion within yourself to refine and develop a spirit, a skill, and happiness brings us immense sense of purpose and gratitude for a job well done, or a moment of peace from an otherwise chaotic life.

We are driven to hone a craft for no other reason than to simply be in our element. I for one have been striving to take my talents to a higher level. To create, not just detail, but to try and tap emotion and an inner calling that lives in all of us. And I think it’s pulling me in a new direction.

This month’s First Friday Video is mini-doc about Michael Robbins who makes beautiful furniture even though his training comes from a different place. Enjoy.