Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Some of our latest creations...

We just finished up a "Working with Live Edge for Beginners" class at the shop, and what a wonderful assortment of tables and benches we made!

We started out with some gorgeous slabs, like these, 

and ended up with projects like these!

When I get a few more "finished" shots, I'll post them... we made some gorgeous tables and benches!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Things are finally starting to settle down over here...

As you might imagine, after the episode of Handcrafted America, where my work (along with two other artists) was featured - life got a little hectic. Thankfully, I'd prepared for that onslaught, so I had cut back of my schedule a bit, in order to pay full attention to everything else. It paid off - I'm busy and back to making tile and working on filing cabinet benches again. 

It's been a LONG time since I worked with clay, and getting the kilns running again is exciting! By the end of the day?... well, let's just say that I mostly sleep like a baby. 

Reading used to be my guilty pleasure - you'd always find a book in my backpack, or a few on the nightstand. I've even been known to pack more books than clothes on some vacations. 

But these days, my leisure-reading time is has been drastically cut. And I'm often so tired when I hit the sheets, that reading just isn't a reality. But I just read this gem for the third time - and even bought a copy for a friend. 

Boss Life: Surviving My Own Small Business by Paul Downs

I met Paul Downs at his recent appearance at the AWFS show - he gave a frank and generous discussion of what it's really like to run a business. This really was a once in a lifetime discussion; usually business owners keep their info or managerial tips close to the vest, but Paul was open and frank about his company.  It's gotten me thinking about the shop, and scaling it to what I want it to be. It's a lot to ponder, trust me. 

Meanwhile - I'm back to making tile. 

Ahhhhh..... I've forgotten how great it is. 

Here are some gems of the past... hopefully what I'm working on now will be half this beautiful. 

I'll keep you posted..

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 INSP.com 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!