Archive for 2010

More on “magic”

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

A.J.’s last post got me thinking about various projects I have done over the years that have seemed like there was “magic” involved. The thing is I actually believe that magic is real. (more…)

End of a long year

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

When I was a kid and my dad wanted me to clean my room, I’d say, ‘I will,’ and he would say, ‘Yeah, when? In 2010?’ (more…)

The rules of time and stuff

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Human nature dictates that we acquire stuff. For some, it’s books or real estate. But for people like us who make things, it’s tools, jars of nuts and bolts, rolls of wire, and stacks of wood. (more…)

Classic designs

Monday, December 6th, 2010

There is a reason classic forms are “classic.” They are based on ergonomics and human scale. The basis for this concept is the human form as expressed in the famous drawings of daVinci. (more…)

Creative use of materials

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

For the last 20 years, we have been seeing more and more materials become scant or disappear completely from the market place. Woods we have long taken for granted and bought relatively cheaply have gradually become harder to get and much more costly. (more…)

Pictures or photographs?

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Over the years I have had a pretty close relationship with the camera. The best one I ever had was a Mamiya 645. It had a built-in light meter that was spot on for the work I was doing. The shop I had at that time was full of natural light so I never had to worry about lighting or shadows or any of that. But I hated the darkroom and the chemicals. When digital photography started to become popular, I got a digital camera but it was pretty low res and could not measure up to film quality. (more…)

The pricing dilemma

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

One of the hardest things about being an artisan is how to put a price on your work. Everyone who has ever tried to sell something they have made has faced this problem. There are a million ways one can calculate the value of a piece of work. You can figure out what the materials cost and how many hours it took to make it and what you want to earn per hour and then figure in your overhead and on and on. (more…)

Second wind

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

In May of this year, I started working on the lathe. This is something I have wanted to do for many years but for some reason or another I never seemed to have the time. But with the recent slowdown in the economy, coupled with my involvement in another business, I have had an opportunity to spend some time learning (or trying to learn) some lathe techniques. It’s challenging work with a pretty steep learning curve and a strong field of well known artisans. (more…)

The Gary Nappe principle

Monday, November 8th, 2010

I can hear it already. Who the heck is Gary Nappe?!? Well, he was a friend for many years. I lost touch with him some time ago but before that, he taught me a few things. (more…)

The next bubble?

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

I was driving around the other day and listening to the news on NPR. Usually I don’t really listen to the radio; it just provides a background to counter all the road noise and sometimes, if I turn it up enough, it can keep me awake. But every now and then something jumps out that grabs my attention. (more…)