Friday, August 11, 2017

Tonight's the night....

Well, the wait is finally over... I hope you can tune in to Handcrafted America tonight, on the INSPIRE Network, where Jill Wagner and I make one of my tiled chests together. It was a terrific experience, and she and the crew were amazing.

Go to to find your local channel... and remember - this show airs early on the west coast.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Big things are happening at the shop! 

There's another Live Edge Woodworking class being taught by Andrew Moore of Reclaimed Secrets, and we just got a load of Claro Walnut slabs delivered, perfect for coffee tables, sofa tables and of course - big ass dining tables.

These two slabs caught my eye... 

these slabs started selling the moment they entered my shop. They were flat, stable and just gorgeous! 

I chose a couple, and cut a straight-line on one edge, book matching them for a table top. 

There aren't enough words to describe the awesomeness of these boards. 

Meanwhile,  working with wood is starting to take its toll on my hands.

 This is the only kind of "glamour shot" I pose for....but don't worry - 

everything is OK. 

Just a few tests to figure out why my hands feel like an elephant walked on them. 
 No biggie. 

Back at the shop, we epoxied the cracks in the boards... we spent a few nights epoxying the boards, and then stacked them up to dry, with stickers in between. 

After it had hardened - we used cabinet scrapers to scrape off the excess.   

Using a cabinet scraper is much easier than using a belt sander. This sander almost met its match with the slab it flattened.

Scrapers are quicker, too. And you get all these lovely shavings, instead of a room full of dust. 

With one side scraped, we flipped the boards over and epoxied the other side.

 The BIG question that I'll have to address is - what sort of tile will I make to fill that opening?  

A mosaic?

 Some texture? 

Stamped designs? 

I have some terrific glazes that I can use on that area, so I have a lot to consider... but luckily, there is SO much more sanding that this slabs need, so I have some time to consider the choices. 

Check out some of my past tile work - 

Speaking of tile - I hope you can join me next Friday, August 11 on Handcrafted America, where my wood and tile work will be featured, along with two other artists.

 It's the Season Three opener - here's a link to see the preview! 

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Better late than never - my AWFS wrap-up!

It's safe to say that a good time was had by all. At the AWFS show, that is!

If you attended, then you know there was fierce competition in the Fresh Wood Furniture Show, a plethora of woodworking projects made by high school and college students. 

There will always be some Malloof rockers,

 or some double wides, in this case,

but my favorite piece was this gorgeous musical chest made by Sarah Provard of Utah.

A few other notable pieces included this Whale chair, available in two different styles and designed for mass production by bending 1/8" plywood into this complex shape. Awesome!

And these two College of the Redwoods wall cabinets - small, but packing a mighty (design) punch. 

There was also a nice selection of guitars - a perfect high school project!

This Diad chair was particularly cool - slats of wood formed the back of it,

 but the back could be tilted forward to create a slick end table. 

The GL Veneer booth displayed this awesome octopus, carved from a tree root - I think the exhibitor said it took that artist six months to carve this! 

And this headboard was massive - I suspect this bed could hold 4 people comfortably... perfect for Vegas!

There were lots of other eye candy displays - from Vegas themed roulette wheels 

to massive saw blades, 

flags, and much more. 

I had a chance for a quick catch-up with Kayleen McCabe, TV host and contractor extraordinaire.  In 2009 she beat dozens of male competitors for the grand prize on TV's Stud Finder.  She also hosted DIY Network’s Rescue Renovation for five years, and is widely known as a good-will ambassador of woodworkers and DIY-ers everywhere. We're in discussions to possibly bring her here to host a weekend workshop in home renovation - wouldn't that be a blast!?! 

One of the highlights for me was attending a lecture given Paul Downs, author of Boss Life. This might be the single best book I've read on running a business, and his discussion highlighted many of his thoughts about various aspects including pricing, hiring and training employees, dealing with problem customers, and much more. 

This isn't just a book for the furniture industry, but a general guideline for running any small business. I had a chance to sit and chat with him after his lecture, and he gave me some really interesting pointers for my shop. 

You can find a copy here: Boss Life.

All in all - a very nice show, with some interesting prospects that I hope will result in some cool future projects!