This weekend, I lost myself in two favorite pastimes: woodworking and gardening. Both activities are a balm, lifting me out of whatever mental morass I'm stuck in and setting me in a flow, bordering on fixation. Time flies equally when I'm playing with a 20 V Max Lithium Ion cordless impact driver or a shovel. … Continue reading Wood and Flowers
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
With Halloween around the corner, I've been making ghosts. I started with some leftover beadboard and a jigsaw, making cartoon-spooky silhouettes that I spray-painted white and staked in the yard. My plan has been to "ghost" some friends for the holiday, by staking ghostly placards in their yards anonymously, but I haven't got around to it … Continue reading Spooky Things I Saw in the Workshop
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
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.
A veteran house-framer helped out in our class this week. He taught us many things, not the least of which is that I don't need my tape measure as much as I previously believed. This revelation comes as a blow, because I love my tape measure. Even if it isn't a fancy Stanley LeverLock like the … Continue reading The Measures of a Man