Monday, December 30, 2013

Let's wrap up this year....

This year has been terrific. Oh, don't get me wrong - we had some hard times, especially with the fire on Mt. Charleston. 

Anyone with breathing problems probably had some issues while the fire was raging.

 But we got through it OK, and we were lucky. 

All in all, everyone I've spoken with about 2013 seems to share the same sentiment -- it was a pretty good year. I hope you can say the same about yours. 

As someone once said – it takes a village. And I couldn't have run the school without the help of many, many people in my life. I'd like to thank some of the people who have contributed their energy and creativity thoughout the year - in many ways, large and small. 

Eric volunteers at the shop on the weekends, and is my right hand dude. He's a huge help in keeping the woodshop in shape - from performing maintenance on the tools, like changing blades and belts and whatever else pops up. 

He has a serious case of "lathe bug" right now, so when he's finished with his work around the shop, you'll find him on a lathe, making bowls. 

There is a core of woodworkers who come to the shop almost every weekend, producing amazing work. But often - they simply work on perfecting their technique. You'll find Ann turning bowls or practicing her sharpening skills of lathe tools. 

Lupe is usually juggling a few different pieces at once. Why is it that the smallest people build the largest pieces?  

Here is her walnut bookcase, completed and in place. Wow. The finish on this has to be felt to truly be appreciated!

Lupe's energy and good attitude around the shop is so appreciated - she always has a kind word for other people's work, and is a willing hand when they need a little extra muscle. A Saturday at the shop wouldn't be complete without us sharing a beer together at the end of the day.

Kris builds amazing mixed media furniture.  

You'll find metal, fabric, wire, ceramic and glass added into her creations. She also makes amazing jewelry, like this pendant she made for me, with my beloved's muzzle on it. I can't wait until she opens an Etsy shop!

Her dad visits us from time to time, and has become our shop mascot and cheerleader. 

Chris T made some amazing pieces this year, and we're so proud that he was accepted into Columbia's Masters of Architecture program. I suspect he's kicking ass there.

There are so many more people to thank - and I hope I don't forget everyone who has helped me on this journey. 

My next-door neighbor, Danny, is a friend and pseudo-brother! 

 He's always helping me out by signing for deliveries when I'm not around, or emptying my heavy trash cans, or dragging out a board from his inventory that I might need to complete an order I'm building. Helpful suggestions? He's full of them!  We commiserate and kvetch over coffee, and I really do think we're possibly siblings from different mothers. 

Speaking of coffee, Beth treated the shop to a wonderful Keurig coffee maker system this year. She keeps us stocked with cups, creamer, K cups, and much more. She knows the way to our hearts! She's become a regular on the weekends, building amazing pieces. She started out making small projects like these, 

and has graduated to this: 

Finally, I know there are a lot of people I am forgetting...

Special thanks goes to Nancy and Mel for their generosity throughout the year. And to both John F's - I love your energy and enthusiasm for woodworking! Margaret - thanks for being my (not-so) secret angel. And to Dennis and John E - thanks for teaching classes at the school and sharing your wonderful talents with us. Andrew F - your help with that legal stuff earlier this year was such a relief - thanks so much for making that experience mostly stress free! Cheryl & Judy - thanks for the logs, and the beer and the cutting board madness!

Let's not forget the members of Sin City Woodworkers, who meet once a month at my shop - thanks for your support and participation in our group. We've been meeting for five years now, and it's one of the coolest things a woodworker can do in Las Vegas. (You can join here!)

Here's my year-end wrapup slideshow. I try to take a picture of every single person who takes a class - and hopefully I have captured everyone here. My apologies if I have missed you - come back to the shop and let me shoot a photo! I thank you all for your support. I hope you've learned as much from me as I have from you. 

Happy New Year!


John said...

Awesome Jamie --- Happy New Year to you

Vegas Lupe said...

Earlier today a friend asked me: “What was the highlight of 2013 for you?”

As I don’t travel much anymore and don’t move much, probably my answer was not too exciting for this person. Being more settled now gives me the ability to nurture friendships. The highlight was probably having the time to hang out with the people I love and respect. It has been a privilege to be part of the woodworking community here in Las Vegas. Having a workshop at home is fun and one can make anything within one’s capabilities. Going to Jamie’s workshop and been able to have ongoing projects in that setting helps me increase my learning ten-fold. Jamie is not only an outstanding teacher but a good friend as well; add that to the company, advice, help and inspiration of people like Ann, Eric, Kris, Beth, Danny and the rest of the gang, and you can truly create magic. The sheer energy of having people around you with similar interests and pursuit of beauty is awesome.

There is nothing like the satisfaction of creating something with your hands that will be cherished and valued by you and others. The smiles on the students’ faces in the little video say it all - People from all walks of life getting together and creating something beautiful. And in many cases, these are people that have never handled a tool before. The confidence and empowerment they acquire is something to behold.

Thank you all for making this a wonderful world. I wish you, Jamie, and all your readers a happy, very healthy and prosperous 2014!

John Frame said...

What an amazing year it has been.
Cool slide show, and a lifetime of memories. Looking forward to make more of those memories with everyone next year too.
Happy New Year.