Specialty work

I have a protocol for handling people with outrageous projects and complex designs. It's all cash upfront, paid design time at a high rate, and all change orders in writing. It wasn't that I was out to fleece my customers; it was to render moot speculative projects that would never go anywhere.

Focus

I have to be careful this time of year. It is neither prudent nor provident to allow myself to become fixated on one thing. Winter has a lot to do with this. January is my usual month to sit in the office, cogitate, plan, imagine, and create new fancies from whole cloth.

Exotic

My introduction to the world of exotic woods began early. I had to stack and sort through piles of different woods at my mentor's studio. Of course, Warburton would never be my master, and I'd never become his apprentice. But he took mentorship seriously while treating me a bit like an apprentice. So when I was in Baltimore, I'd go off to his studio and work as directed.

Rules

When I taught media and television production to seventh and eighth graders, I always insisted that being a bit juvenile was OK. Rather than being a curriculum and text-based course, I taught the subject as an enrichment. Every couple of weeks, there was a new project. Included was a scriptwriting workshop, storyboarding, planning the shots, and walk-throughs of the action. Along the way, technical aspects of editing or camera work got addressed. To make this work, because there was a lot of work involved, it also had to be play.

December and January

Well, it's December, the shop is a mess. No pictures are allowed. Let's say that the carving shop in the greenhouse is full of projects getting the oil varnish rub treatment, spoons getting treated with mineral oil, and stuff that has to wait in line for finishing.

Easy Pieces

I admit that the sort of non complex carving that happens when I carve a small bowl is pretty alluring. No antsy detail. No pattern that needs to be followed. Just follow the will of the wood.

Whack!

You can't carve without removing wood. And removing wood can be as delicate a process as lightly slipping the gouge through the wood or propelling it forcefully. Apply too much force in the wrong situation, and you have lovely kindling.

Problems

Saturday I got to spend an entire day in my shop. The planets aligned, and only the fallen leaves in my backyard protested my ignoring them. Now, it may be strange that while my commute to the shop is less than a minute, I have to struggle to get to it. But, I still have a day job, family commitments, a blog, a garden to prepare for winter, and household duties.

Do Not Stop

I have was enveigled, into doing a crafts show this December. OK, it was more of an email, and I've been bored, so I'll trot off for a day of standing behind a table hustling spoons, cutting boards, small signs, bowls, and whatever I think might fit on a single table.

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