In my shop, there is one slogan: “Every day put your hands on the wood.” I have had a shop now for over 15 years, and I adopted that when I first started. It was a time when people could stay away from my stuff easily, and I went a few years selling two or three different pieces I went to festivals and mostly sold easels. Every once in a while, my son and I would sell a carved gun rack. I sold a few tables to Tamarack. Times were slim.
Every day, though, I put my hands on the wood. The slimmer things got, the more I tried to develop a new skill. I tried branding, but really there was nothing to brand. Still, I kept pushing. Mine is not a story of miraculous success. Things are still slim at times but I have learned to tell my story and, through the telling, have gained people who support me by buying and coming up with ideas. Also, they share back. My daughter helped me to develop this newsletter and a creative edge.
Right now, as you know, I am working on a table and chairs. The picture for today is of a few comb pieces for the backs of the chairs. In order to make these, I have to be able to see the chair in my mind’s eye. For the whole set, I’ll need some 70 of them. Each one is made singly although I’ve developed a process for them. In another corner, I have the glue ups for the seats and the blanks out of which the legs and ladder parts of the backs will come. The table top is blanked and ready for inlay. I still have to make the blanks for the supports to the table and the stretchers for the legs. None of this will come to fruition without putting my hands on the wood every day. Thus, piece by piece, the whole will be established.