Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It's all about the playlists.

Anyone who owns an iPod knows what I mean. This is the most important shelf in my studio- the one that holds my iPod (and a few first aid items).

You set up playlists for various situations, for moods you want to create. Personally, I have about 8 different playlists, corresponding to various shop tasks. Lay-out, measuring and gluing boards all require mellow music, so that my concentration isn't interrupted.

But when it's time to sand, you can probably hear the music playing from a block away. It can't be loud enough, nor fast enough.

Here are a few tunes on some various playlists:

Mellow stuff

  • Heartbeats - Jose Gonz├ílez
  • 9 Crimes - Damien Rice
  • Send in the Clowns - Judy Collins
  • Safe and Sound - Sheryl Crow
  • In the Deep - Bird York
  • Car on a Hill - Joni Mitchell
  • Jung at Heart - Master Cylinder
  • Rain - Patty Griffin
  • Venetian Blue - Shawn Colvin
  • Because I told you so - Jonatha Brooke
  • Breathe Me - Sia
Sanding music

  • Run to you - Bryan Adams
  • Lose Yourself - Eminem
  • She's a Bitch - Missy Elliot
  • It's getting Hot in Here - Nelly
  • The Long Way Around - Dixie Chicks
  • Don't Fear the Reaper -Blue Oyster Cult
  • The Middle - Jimmy Eat World
  • Middle of the Road - the Pretenders
  • Ain't Nobody - Chaka Khan
  • Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison

What are your top ten?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

What do coffee mugs have to do with woodworking?

There are two things that I can't do without in my studio- good music, and a good cup of coffee. When my favorite mug was recently broken, I wrote to the potter who made it, asking if there were any more that I could purchase. No luck.

So I've been on a quest to make the perfect mug. Here are a few recent ones, the kiln is cooling as I type this and there should be another batch of mugs tomorrow. You can see the glaze samples hanging on the back wall, offering some ideas about color combinations.

To me, working with clay is MUCH harder than working in wood. Wood is forgiving, and any mistakes made along the way can be corrected as a piece is being built. Not so with clay.

If you're lucky enough to have a pot that survives making and trimming it, you still have a couple of firings, not to mention the glazing process itself. It's often frustrating, but completely addicting.

I like my mugs without handles, there's a pleasant interaction between holding the mug and enjoying what it holds. In cooler temps, it's a nice way to keep your hands warm. And I like my mugs to be big, much bigger than most coffee cups. Once my coffee slightly cools to that perfect temperature, I often find myself at the bottom of the cup. So a larger mug works out well.

Next... we'll talk about music in the woodshop...