Sunday, June 15, 2014
I will be forever grateful for the role model provided by my father. I do not take this lightly as I know many spend a lifetime in conflict over emotional damage and expectations laid down by a parent. He was not a cheerleader who thought his children could do no wrong but he was supportive of paths we chose that were quite different from his own.
He was a conscientious objector to WWII. He never struck me. He worked quietly for social justice in personnel at the American Friends Service Committee.
By most measures he was not overly successful or particularly accomplished. He was a good tennis player and a good singer. He did not seek or make a large circle of friends. Having outlived most of his peers he will soon be forgotten.
But when he died a tearful nurse’s aide said to a member of the family, “He was the nicest man I ever met.” What an epitaph. To me this is something to aspire to. To have someone, anyone, say this about you when you are gone. That would be a life well lived.
Sunday, May 4, 2014
I have been sitting on the idea of a pierced design for a panel for a long time, one like you see for the sound hole of lutes. The pattern I chose was a modified Celtic double knot which I thought fitting for a cabinet likely to hold Irish and Scotch whiskeys. I borrowed a scroll saw and spent several days cutting the patterns. I used small needle files to clean it up, and then carved it to give a woven effect.
The curving lines of the door stiles is carried over from the side panels. It is common practice to edge glue boards together to get needed width. You can get 10" wide walnut but it is expensive and I didn't have any in my stash. In some woods such as oak this glue line can be almost undetectable but in figured woods it is more noticeable and I think less than pleasing. So this time I decided to accentuate the line with a narrow gap between the boards. I temporarily glued together the matched curved edges to facilitate cutting the dovetails and inside dadoes. Just prior to glue up they were sawn apart again and sanded.
I think these curving lines loosen up this piece, making it less formal. I like some organic feel to my work, some recollection of the source of the material. The hand carved door pulls have a surface treatment of gouge marks. Interesting to the touch and, once again, more organic than something highly polished.
The back is ship-lapped slats that include the light colored sap wood. This wood is often discarded but I like using it in this way.
I have made many things of wood. Have I put in my 10,000 hours yet? If not, I must be getting close. It does not mean I don't make mistakes or that I am not clumsy in some efforts. But it does mean that I am able to give more thought to the look and feel of a piece than to the mechanics of its assembly.
This kind of project might be my favorite way of woodworking - following the muse with a loved one in mind.
I have posted a few more pictures that can be seen full screen at: http://srtuttle.smugmug.com/Liquor-Cabinet