our blog


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

Progress Bank project - progressing nicely

Met with Progress Bank's Andy Mann along with Architect Hugo Dante (and crew) PSI's Maray Daniel last week.  Working out details of the 14' oak and walnut conference table,  thru the glass wall sassafras bench, along with a solid walnut check writing console table. 

The new Progress Bank building in Florence - progressing nicely

The new Progress Bank building in Florence - progressing nicely

beautiful weekend - new camera - huge zoom

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Quite amazing what $500 can get you in a camera these days.   -Obviously no DSLR here.   First the positive - the first weekend of shooting I actually ended up with some pretty fair pics.  I was able to (carefully) hold the camera by hand steady enough to take 60x images.  The rare occoasion when the light was right, these distance shots were pretty good.  

The primary negative (from one weekend of play), huge issues needing more light in most of the shots using over 20x zoom or so.  Lots to learn here.

 

Locker Farm to Table

Amazing example of what can be accomplished celebrating local produce and friends.  Last weekend city farmer John Locker's "farm to table" dinner was just perfect.   

Farm to Table fun.  Beautiful example of just what local produce (and local friends). 

Farm to Table fun.  Beautiful example of just what local produce (and local friends). 

The moon this weekend

Using the bulk of the 60x zoom on this new fairly inexpensive panasonic camera this weekend.

Reflecting our gallaxy 10/13/13

Apple Store Visit last Week

Sassafras joined me for a visit to the Huntsville Apple store last week.  Happy to replace at&t for verizon, plus a new iphone, ios7, tethering and more.  Oh, in the trade, I gave up my grandfathered unlimited data with at&t. 

Locals on Letterman last week

I'm way behind on blog posts - the next few will be catching up. 

Here's a pick of a few of our many super talented musicians on Letterman last week.

Local Muscle Shoals area musicians perform on Letterman last week. 

Local Muscle Shoals area musicians perform on Letterman last week. 

Still on the huge Museum Bench project

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Although this one has been in the works for months, we've done almost nothing other than these 35 benches for the Museum of Alabama - phase II for the past month.  Tons more work to do.  All these angles, tight specs, and pro Museum design firm (PRD) overseeing the project has helped make things more than exciting here in our typically more laid back studio atmosphere.  

Can't wait to see these finished and installed.  Looking like another full month before we'll be there. 

After that we've got plenty more projects lined up.  For now, we can't take new orders that are needed before early January. 

Some of the areas's best musicians to be on Letterman this week

A passel of local creatives, including David Hood of Muscle Shoals Sound Studios performing this week on Letterman.

A passel of local creatives, including David Hood of Muscle Shoals Sound Studios performing this week on Letterman.

We cross paths with David and Judy Hood, usually every couple of weeks during one of our weekly lunch visits to the Rice Box Restaurant.  They are (or David is?) heading to NY to be on Letterman  - Thursday or Friday.  Really cool to see the world (and Letterman) - even if after all these years - appreciating our wonderful community as much as we do.

Looks like an entourage of some of our many musical genius' might be performing - probably one of the hits from the new soundtrack to the just released movie - Muscle Shoals.  --What a fun time it is now for these guys and all of us in the area.

Interesting to see how the seeds that these guys planted back in the 60's and 70's seem to be sprouting everywhere we look;  the movie, the music, the soundtrack, the city, the university. 

Woodwork - Jessie - and Breaking Bad

The Box Jessie Pinkman (breaking bad) might have made had he chosen a different "path". 

The Box Jessie Pinkman (breaking bad) might have made had he chosen a different "path". 

After five years, one of the only shows we follow has come to an end.  What a ride it's been.  Last night was the last episode.  And I think if it's summed up, or if the entire series is summed up in one word it would be "woodworking".  Jessie could have followed a different path and found at least some degree of peace from "woodworking". 

The "daydreaming" of being a woodworker (instead of . . .) kinda hit home.  And, I can say from experience, it might have just worked. 

The box.  The beautiful little box (in his daydream) looked like wormy maple. The trim could have been walnut - obviously not sure.   

Muscle Shoals - Perhaps the best movie soundtrack ever

The Soundtrack to the soon to be released movie - Muscle Shoals was relased on itunes today! 

The Soundtrack to the soon to be released movie - Muscle Shoals was relased on itunes today! 

Muscle Shoals - The Soundtrack.  You'd probably have to be an oldie like me to come close to agreeing, but I'm crazy over this new soundtrack that was just released on ITunes today.   And the Movie should be following soon behind (and it might just be even better than the soundtrack!)

Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Etta James, Wilson Pickett, The Staple Singers, Jimmy Cliff, Traffic, Paul Simon - and that's not even the start of it.  Really amazing that all these guys and so many more recorded right here in our small community.

Available on itunes now.  btw:  I just found an even larger soundtrack to Muscle Shoals on Spotify.

a few photos from the back this morning

Lots going on around here.  Really great to have (lots) more business than ever.  My new problem is working to ensure meeting all deadlines.  Below are a few pics that i took in the studio during this morning's first walk-thru at 7

 

Sassafras coffee table- the before pic

The before the finish photo of a new super awesome super unique sassafras coffee table

The before the finish photo of a new super awesome super unique sassafras coffee table

The before the finish photo of a new super awesome super unique sassafras coffee table

Two new new tables in finishing room

This morning, we moved the completed tables out of the finishing room, moved these two in, and placed the first coat.

The 12' solid walnut conference table will be shipped to Master Architect Phil Kean's, this is the first of two conference tables that'll be used in their new office/showroom.  We,ll spray finish 5 coats of our super earth friendly water based urethane before they are ready to ship.  The top won't be attached to the legs/stretcher piece until we complete the spray finish.

The coffee table was made from perhaps the worlds largest??  sassafras tree.  Joe Mcphail, friend and local arborist lost the tree to typical tree crew "topping", which kills every single tree that's topped. 

First coat of super earth friendly waterbased finish applied to two tables we just completed.

First coat of super earth friendly waterbased finish applied to two tables we just completed.

Here's a good one from around 1980 Raft Race days

Great fun finding this one this morning.  It was sitting on top of the pile of raft race memorabilia in my closet, that I meant to get thru, but didn't even notice all weekend.

I believe I remember these guys "singing"? this song in the park after the race.  This poem/song captures most of the "raft racers" views of the race, and the fun and the dam at the time.  

Any locals remember these guys? 

Great Cypress Creek Raft Race song/poem from late 70's /early 80s.

Great Cypress Creek Raft Race song/poem from late 70's /early 80s.

Brought the camera for saturday's swim

Finishing room today

The slow studio has not been living up to it's moniker.  We are cranking, and can't take on any more custom orders this year. 

Here are a few pics of our finishing room today.  It's all walnut.  Huge walnut bench, walnut side table, another beautiful small modern walnut table going to Phil Kean, and a couple of walnut tabletops that haven't been sold yet.

Walnut furniture in finishing room today. 
Walnut side table in finishing room today. 
A photo of our finishing room today. 

Shark Diving/whale watching in Cape Town

Just received pics from our friend and international do gooder, Paul Makepeace.  Paul is from Brisbon Aus, but spent several years here with IFDC.  Now, I think he's based in Johannesburg, although it seems that many of his updates are from Nairobi.  I suppose I can classify this blog post as one more adventure I haven't experienced yet.

A few photos of Sarah and my trip to Cape Town last week end. It was fortunate that Sarah was in Johannesburg for the week with work so I went down from Nairobi and caught up with her for the weekend. we went Shark diving on the Sunday and the bay was full of Southern right Whales--great weekend
Hope you are well
Take care
paul