Julia Wilk, founder of Lovewood Custom Home Furnishings, is stronger with a chainsaw than she is with Instagram. That's probably because she's too busy in her workshop, shaping, sanding and otherwise coaxing the natural beauty out of ragged tree trunks to spend much time on social media. Plus, her work gloves make it hard to … Continue reading Who Wouldn’t Love a Gift from Lovewood?
Last fall, my friend Pat McFadden and I ginned up her home workshop to make wooden games to sell at Artclectic at University School of Nashville. Over the course of the year, Pat has ridden that creative momentum to make several pieces of beautiful outdoor furniture, including two custom garden benches and my beloved Chippendale … Continue reading Swing Time Special
I spent a fascinating Saturday morning with Chris Barber of Barber Woodworking (pictured here), discussing the timeless beauty of Classical design proportions and the soul-crushing frustration of SketchUp software. Seriously, SketchUp is enough to make you want to knock yourself unconscious with your wireless Logitech mouse. But once you figure it out—with help from Chris … Continue reading Golden Means to an End
A few months ago, my talented cabinetmaker classmate left the Building Construction Technology classroom at Tennessee College of Applied Technology Nashville for a work-study program at 1220 Exhibits. Now, instead of coming to class, he gets school credit while getting paid to learn on the job. I recently visited my classmate at work in the … Continue reading Skills On Display: A Visit to 1220 Exhibits
In construction school, as in many other aspects of life, I find that it is better to be doing something—no matter how seemingly futile—than to be doing nothing. Doing something usually leads to something else, whereas doing nothing leads nowhere. When it comes to the workshop at school, if I'm not building something, I feel anxious. … Continue reading Busy as Bees
Today, as I walked through the workshop at Tennessee College of Applied Technology, I saw evidence of a swarm of carpenter bees drilling holes in our lumber. Though they may be a nuisance, carpenter bees are dazzling in their precision. It looked like they had drilled a cribbage board in a 2x4. But then I discovered … Continue reading New Guy Joining in Construction Class
Today's installment of "Building Shelf-Esteem with Buttercup" kicks off at the Nashville Habitat for Humanity Restore, which opened this month, combining under one 33,000-square-foot roof the homegoods and building materials of two former Nashville Restore locations. Housed in a former Kmart at the northwest corner of Harding Place and Nolensville Road, the expanded Restore has aisle upon … Continue reading Hello, Habitat
From week to week, construction class pings back and forth between gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Some weeks we are outside building a shed or siding a building; other weeks we are in the workshop crafting furniture. I suspect this alternation is similar to cross-training for athletes. It's good to practice all the … Continue reading Relax…You’re Supposed to Relax.
Today, we set out to make Adirondack chairs. Our instructor gave us plans and a stack of lumber and told us to have at it. Having seen my carpenter classmate construct an exquisite tiny rocking chair for his young daughter only days ago, I quickly glommed onto him as a teammate. Meanwhile, four other guys … Continue reading Chairs that Rock