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Be sure to check back regularly to see just what chips have been falling in our "slow studio".

Previous resident amazed with progress of the Shoals

I was honored with a brief visit yesterday by previous resident Steve Ainsley.  Locals will remember Steve as the publisher of the TimesDaily back in the late '80s, and proceeded to eventually become publisher of the Boston Globe.  He and his artist wife Ann have recently retired to Santa Barbara.

Steve is on a whirlwind driving/visiting/camping tour of the US.  He pulled up in his Volvo with bike mounted on top and camping gear, and several pairs of running shoes plus plus,  crammed in the back.

It appeared that he had zero room left, but we somehow managed to force a couple of small RWF pieces to add to his and Ann's growing collection.

We visited over lunch @ the new fab downtown Thai restaurant "Yumm".  He couldn't have been more impressed with his sushi lunch and the super cool interior and vibe.

Steve was instrumental in leading our community in a progressive and thoughtful direction decades ago.  Although he and Ann are firmly grounded in Santa Barbara,  I planted the seed of taking on some type of advisory role for the community's continued  supercool growth and direction.  His only comment is that we were doing just fine without his help.  I'm thinking we could do even "finer" with it!

I have a feeling Florence will be seeing more of Steve now that, for maybe the first time, he has time on his hands.   As everyone who knew Steve from our past, don't be a stranger!  We'd like to become your home away from (your new beautiful) home.  

 

Steve Ainsley, past Shoals resident - retired publisher Boston Globe

Steve Ainsley, past Shoals resident - retired publisher Boston Globe

steve ainsley road trip 2013

steve ainsley road trip 2013

Steve Ainsley road trip 

Steve Ainsley road trip 

Our own Rick Hall and Fame on NPR yesterday

Great surprise to hear our town Rick Hall and Fame documented on NPR yesterday.  Although I run into a few folks out of town that are "aware" of our little town's amazing music history, for the most part we've done a great job of keeping it a secret. 

Alabama's Tim Cook aced it yesterday at WWDC

I've been following,  working with as well as benefiting from Apple products since the Mac was introduced in '84.  I've only attended one WWDC years ago, but follow it, enjoying seeing what's around the corner each year.

I'm sure I could, but can't imagine running a business centered around Apple products as well as third party software. 

So much speculation that Apple can't continue their forward thinking products as they have in the past.  Probably can't maintain this momentum, with or without Steve.  But if yesterday's announcements and demonstrations of coming products is any indication, we will have plenty of amazing advances from Apple for quite a while. 

Alabama rarely get's good press or attention, many times rightly so.  It's great to see that one of Alabama's most glowing shining stars, Tim Cook is leading the entire outfit at Apple.  And the funny thing is most (here in Alabama) aren't aware of it.  

Alabama's own Tim Cook @ Apple WWDC 2013 Keynote.

Alabama's own Tim Cook @ Apple WWDC 2013 Keynote.

Jony Ives Apple Product demonstration @ WWDC

Steve Job's genius was often (and continues to be) manifested thru Jony Ive's product design.   Maybe not only his design, but his ability to communicate his design and inspiration.  Here's a bit of Jony's genius yesterday at WWDC:

I think there is a profound and enduring beauty 
in simplicity
in clarity
in efficiency
True simplicity is derived from so much more than from just the absence of clutter and ornamentation.  It's about bringing order to complexity.  

Cherry and sassafras rounds last week

Many beautiful spring mornings you might catch us finding outside work at the top of our list.  Last week, we spent several mornings planing these sassafras and cherry rounds.

A little metal can reek havoc with our carbide planing head.  Fortunately, we found this before our planer did.

Brief visit with Andy Mann

Andy Mann, Progress Bank's President is clearly pleased with the results so far of his new building.  Seems a little like a proud papa, and should be. 

Tour of UNA's Student Union Building

After the Progress Bank tour, we toured UNA's also super cool Student Union Building, also in progress.  This building is situated on UNA's  South most demarcation line, at the North end of Court Street. The intention is to bring the community together and welcome the community.  -  I'm thinking this amazing building might just accomplish it.

It's easy to see just where Hugo's modern vibe is right now.   The most pronounced feature here is a really huge gallery space, running the length of the building.  Huge ceilings, huge walls, massive open areas, lots of glass.  Oh, and we're finally getting a Starbucks.

I think UNA's gonna have something here.  Can't wait to see the final v.  - maybe before the end of the year.

A tour of the new progress bank - progress

Architect Hugo Dante's tour Thursday of the new to the shoals Progress Bank was quite impressive.  Seems to be shaping up to be quite a beautiful modern, very open, lots of glass structure.

I love the super cool "gallery" area that you'll walk right into from the front.  Huge walls, tall celiings, clean geometric layout where they plan to hang local artists work from time to time - with plans for artist showings, social events etc.

Tom Heflin losing his old oak

The street department is taking this beauty down from long time Tuscumbia attorney Tom Heflin's front yard.

I rarely have time to personally round them up like this but this one's maybe a little special.  In addition to being a beautiful old oak that's been here longer than any of us have, the burl at the trunk has a great chance of offering some amazing grain.

The final piece from this tree might just be worthy of a local fund raiser/auction of some kind.  I'd like to hear if there's a philanthropic group that might be interested in teaming. Furniture (or fund raisers)  from this one won't be seen before a year, more than likely a couple (primarily depending on the thickness of our milling.

Iphone pic of last week's rainbow

Finally getting around to downloading and posting these Iphone pics of the rainbow that briefly visited last week.  In the past I've attempted to take a few rainbow iphone pics (never having my GF1 at hand) with no success at all.  Some how I ended up with a bit better result this time.

Another custom order from Architect Phil Kean

This modern organic cocktail table was completed and shipped last week.  We collaborated with the super creative Rob Turner of the Phil Kean Architecture team in Winter Park.

Museum of Alabama photo shoot - just awful

  Having my photo taken - one of my most uncomfortable hangups. 

The Museum of Alabama sent master photographer Mark Gooch around the state to take pics of 20 Alabamians for the final exhibit of phase two of their amazing project.  Not really sure how I ended up in the mix, but the rest of the project seems to be totally first class.  They've hired world class Museum designers and fabricators for the project.  One of which just completed Presidential Library project in Texas.

Can you see that the photographer might just be "stumped" for the first time in his career?  - Can you see how much fun I'm having?  If I'm going to get over this one in my lifetime, I think I better get on with it.

Lacey stopped by Sunday

It was great seeing our friend Lacey Howard Sunday.  We claim her as our own, but she's been living in Des Moines for year's now as an editor for Meredith Publications.  I just remembered to get a quick pic before she ran back to spend the rest of Mother's day with her Mama.

Great to see that she hasn't forgotten her Southern friends.  Now, we are going to have to tweak the accent a bit, also a lesson on our Southern "pace" is on my agenda as well.

Lacey Howard, Meredith Publications visiting on Mama's day.

Lacey Howard, Meredith Publications visiting on Mama's day.

Super Modern organic cocktail table

We've been working on this one for a while.  Will share pics of the final v. soon hopefully.

Modern Organic Cocktail table in the works.

Modern Organic Cocktail table in the works.

Quick peek in the back - Eurekazone tracksaw system

Eurekazone tracksaw system - American Made - Genius

Eurekazone tracksaw system - American Made - Genius

Here's a quick pic of the super safe American made tracksaw system we use almost every day.  It's super safe, super flexable, super handy.  We are modifying the set up a bit to make it even more useful.  Just added track and table to allow it to easily handle 13' long, 4" thick slabs.

Buy quality products and keep 'em

One habit that we seem to have organically begun (and held onto) is if we need something, and can afford to, we buy quality products and hang onto them.  Whether it's tools, furniture, cars, rugs and even clothes when we can.  My 20 year old Reyn Spooners that continue to be holding up are a great example.  

I recently sold my 12 year old Range Rover, after purchasing a Dodge truck.  Linda's 12 year old Volvo looks like new - well, if you don't look too close.

Here's a pic of my 25 year old Bradington Young leather chair - yes, uglier than heck.  - Sassafras enjoys it as much as I do.  The Baker sofa right beside is also 25 years old.  I shared pics recently showing our recover project and addition of solid walnut trim and legs.

This chair was certainly made here in the U.S. back then - as most furniture was.  Don't know for sure, but the odds are against it now. 

Oh, I suppose this tenet holds true with the pup who snuck in to my comfy chair as well.

We have enjoyed buying quality products, keeping and enjoying them as long as we can.

We have enjoyed buying quality products, keeping and enjoying them as long as we can.

We've gone curvey!

After more than a couple of months of planning and building these new (for rwf) elliptically shaped tables, we finally applied the last coat of our very earth friendly water based finish and began taking pics.

I've avoided "curves" in our furniture design for seven years now.  They just didn't "feel right".  With confirmation of our solar system, I've come to a very comfortable, peaceful place with our first curves.  These three tables are perfect ellipses.    I'd love to hear your thoughts here.

At this point, we've only finished the tops.   I can design and attach one of several optional bases to each.  Also each can become either a coffee table, desk or dining table - depending on your needs.

We'll be cleaning up the images background (in photoshop), pricing these three tables out and making them available in our upcoming online store through the weekend.   The general dimensions for these three tables:  
107" x 43" x 2" thick, 81" x 43" x 3" thick, and 52" x 39" x 3" thick. 

Keep in mind that we love custom orders.  If these don't fit perfectly in your space, just let us know.  Want it thinner with diff dims - no problem.