our blog


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

Even my shiitake's are happy to see spring

My shiitake log has produced nothing all through the winter.  Linda just put it outside for some fresh air.  I've worked so hard to keep them inside "in the dark".  Maybe they need some degree of sunlight therapy as much as I do.

These two little shiitake's seem to like fresh air and sunlight more than I realized.

These two little shiitake's seem to like fresh air and sunlight more than I realized.

Great to have local choices in organic and hydroponic produce.

Great addition (surprise) was to see an amazing bread maker here at one of our fav organic farms.  (sorry no pics yet).  Magpie+Ruth was selling the greatest bread Saturday at Jack o Lantern Farms.   Gosh, I almost forgot just how good real bread is.

Also great to see wheatgrass for sale.  It's so easy to grow, but i just haven't found the rhythm yet.  Hmm, for some reason though, the farm's wheatgrass was soo much sweeter??

I think a great sign of an organic farmer is if bees and honey are close by.

Happy Birthday Frassie!

Sassafras Wade, two year birthday today.  These pics were taken last summer on Wilson Lake, North Alabama.  When we moved to the river last year I couldn't believe my Golden was scared of the water.  (Just about) every day after work for a couple of weeks I took her down to the River for a gentle introduction.  I think she got it. . . .

Sassafras Wade

Sassafras Wade

Sassafras

Sassafras

Sassafras Frassie Wade

Sassafras Frassie Wade

Sassafras

Sassafras

Frassie

Frassie

Sassafras

Sassafras

Want more?  Click on the stick!

Want more?  Click on the stick!

Fox on Neighbor's Roof

There are quite a few fox(es) throughout our outlying communties.  I've heard quite odd animal noises for year's, not kowing just what/ where it was coming from.  Now I know.  I'ts this fox. 

A couple of weeks ago we were throwing Frassie some frisbees.  It must have startled this fox and it somehow jumped up ontop of the roof of our neighbor's home.  Foxes are amazing.  So quick, cunning, smart - and now - a leaper!

This Fox leaped onto our neighbor's roof with little effort.

This Fox leaped onto our neighbor's roof with little effort.

Split Walnut Bench

This walnut bench is the last piece fresh out of the finishing room last week

Split walnut bench, close-up of dimensional joinery.

Split walnut bench, close-up of dimensional joinery.

split solid walnut bench with dimensional joinery full view

split solid walnut bench with dimensional joinery full view

Small Cherry Cocktail Table

Completed and finished this one last week.

Small Cherry Cocktail Table

Small Cherry Cocktail Table

Natural Edge Cherry Cocktail Table

Natural Edge Cherry Cocktail Table

Small Natural Edge Cherry Table

Small Natural Edge Cherry Table

small cherry coffee table6.jpg

Cherry Baptismal Font

This one took a while before the design flowed in.  Again, curves aren't my forte'.  But I think (hope) we got this one right.  I hope to be able to see it in action in the church in Birmingham soon.

Baptismal Font, clsoeup of the custom beautiful blown glass bowl (supplied by the church).

Baptismal Font, clsoeup of the custom beautiful blown glass bowl (supplied by the church).

Baptismal font from "her" view.

Baptismal font from "her" view.

Solid Cherry Baptismal Font, full view.

Solid Cherry Baptismal Font, full view.

Thinking Ovals

close up of 3" thick oval solid walnut top

close up of 3" thick oval solid walnut top

Ya, i suppose in some area this ole dog is slow to change.  My saws cut, and I seem to have preferences for straight cuts, well at least in the past.  Now, after almost seven years of furniture making, i'm actually building my first oval table top.  And even more astonishing - i'm enjoying it!

I wiped this unfinished oval tabletop with mineral spirits to "appear" somewhat finished for the pics.  In process is this one, and it's mamma.

Dimensions:  64" x 38"  3" thick
Mama:            85" x 47" 3" thick

My plan (for this and future pieces) to build and finish the tops, and allow the customer to choose from completed (or not) legs and heights, and table type. 

I'd love to hear what you think about Oval.  I'll be sure to post some pics of the completed top, hopefully on some of the leg options before long.

Unfinished oval walnut top, appearing somewhat finished for this pic.

Unfinished oval walnut top, appearing somewhat finished for this pic.

custom solid cherry lectern

This custom order for a church in Birmingham included several pieces.  The font and this lectern are the two more unusual and significant pieces of the group.

custom solid cherry lectern

custom solid cherry lectern

Coming Soon!

For month's we've been working on "Our Store" - our new online shopping "destination" for our "sophisticated yet grounded" hardwood furniture.  We are getting there, making progress every day - stay tuned!

ouronlinestorecomingsoon-01.jpg

Project update

I'm so far behind on my blog posts, and have pics of several new pieces.  Here are pics of most of the projects that we've been working on over the past couple months or so.  As you can see, the slow studio's been unusually busy for this time of year.  Actually, almost too fast if you ask me.  Now, my accountant might disagree.

Our New York based Web Site Platform is Flooding and going down!

I just received notice from our Super everything New York based Web platform Squarespace, that their building is flooding, and all SS sites will temporarily be going down.  My gosh.  THis is a first.  But, I'm sure we can handle it.  Please stay tuned, and as soon as SS can they'll have us back online.

I LOVE this Squarespace Web Environment.  Hope you are enjoying it as well.  Without question, this will not hinder my appreciation and dedication to what I believe to be the best web 2.0 environment on the planet. 

Stay Safe our SUPER talented, SUPER creative NY friends at Squarespace!!

Squarespece

Squarespece

Royal Passing - a poem

by: Sheila Taylor

In late October of two thousand and eleven
An ancient Oak Queen left us for tree heaven

This tall beautiful Empress that toward the sky
Now stands lifeless, but one day had to die

No one is quite sure how long she survived
But for hundreds of years she did flourish and thrive

Estimated at five hundred years old, maybe even eight
No matter which number, her life was quite great

he width of her trunk, enormously round
And her branches stretched out to form a beautiful crown

Her feature in an issue of National Geographic
Brought two score and 17 years of noble traffic

How many years did this Bur Oak Queen reign
This beautiful Queen, in no way a plain Jane
She existing on American soil for so many years
That some people now visit and even shed tears

Before Columbus, Washington, World War I or II
Before the Wright brothers, Apollo 11 or the challenger flew
Before Lincoln, Roosevelt or Vietnam
Before Kennedy, King, or the atom bomb

Before the attack on Pearl Harbor or September 11
But we knew someday she had to leave us for heaven
It is not yet known why she took her last breath
And for now she stands lifeless, beautiful even in death

A History Of Wooden Canvases

by: Robert-Phillip Bazoiu

Painted furniture was born out of the necessity to decorate a piece of furniture without having to resort to sculpture, quality wood, or wood that was too expensive for most people. Painted furniture can be traced all the way back to the 16th century in most of Europe starting with Sweden, Switzerland, England, Normandy, Southern Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, to Transylvania, Russia and the Baltic countries.


Most northern countries’ motifs were rustic: stylized flowers, countryside homes around a church, crudely-painted farm animals, but northern Europeans also used motifs directly inspired from the French 18th century and Italian baroque Rococo's. The designs painted on 19th century English furniture was famously influenced by the time’s Victorian gardens: furniture covered in delicate contours detached on a sober or clear background. In Normandy, which produced in the 17th and 19th centuries numerous painted trunks and chests used for transporting fine fabrics or jewelry to the East, the most common motifs were the tulip, the rose, lengthened leaves and birds as a symbol of marriage, all on mostly sober backgrounds.


Italy, under the influence of its neighbors from Alsace, developed a certain style of painted furniture that included an elevated type of ornamentation for the rich and for clerics. The trunks had a perspective architectural finish. After a period such painted trunks were no longer fashionable, but painted furniture made a comeback in the 18th century with roses, wreaths, or landscapes that decorated dressers, closets, or harpsichords.


Germany adopted the unique and charming design of the Tölz Rose. Native to northern Bavaria, this little round rose curved around itself is displayed as wreaths or bouquets in vases.


Hungary’s and Poland’s signature design was achieved through the richness of the decor, charm of its colors, and the forms' originality. To furniture painters of this region empty space was the enemy of design. All the surface was covered in a dense manner: isolated flowers or bouquets, twin birds with geometrical shapes, precise design, often miniatures, with a more eastern than Slavic character. In Transylvania, painted furniture was brought by the Transylvanian Saxons who colonized the region and, having the dense, intricate design of Hungarian furniture, was very similar to that of southern Germany.


Roses and tulips were the flowers most favored by European history’s furniture painters. The tulip, symbolizing fertility through its closing form, commonly graced dowry chests. Bouquets and wreaths were rich in flowers more or less stylized, making for an absolutely charming polychromy.


Reference picture: http://stejarmasiv.ro/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Mobila-pictata-Targul-mesterilor-populari-din-Sibiu.jpg, credits going out to http://stejarmasiv.ro

Our Planet’s Largest Living Tree - a poem

by: Sheila Taylor

General Sherman


General Sherman?
General Sherman?
Who in the world is he?
The General is by volume earth’s largest living tree!
Is this an American General?
Where do this General stay?
Why yes this is an American General who lives in the USA!
How big is the General?
Does he really deserve this rank?
He’s about 300 feet tall and can withstand the hit of a tank!
Okay this General is tall, and a tank?
Is he that sound?
Yes indeed he is, this General is over 100 feet round!
Can you tell me more about him, where can I see his bark?
He stands in a Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park.
A few years ago he lost a branch that was over 8 feet long.
That did not change his status, he still stands just as strong.
If you can come out to see him, you would not believe what you see!
It is amazing to stand gazing at earth’s largest living tree!

​Artisan Works at Kew Gardens

 

David Nash @ Kew Gardens
by Dana Stoll

For the first time in over a decade, wood artist David Nash can be found “mining” sustainably sourced wood at his quarry in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. World renowned for their research and conservation efforts, Kew Gardens seems the perfect backdrop to host an exhibit by the prolific sculptor. It is a deeply-embedded concern for the environment and for the appreciation of nature that unites the two and resonates in everything they do. Nash’s own method is environmentally-minded and in alignment with RWF’s “Respect the Tree” philosophy. In his wood quarry at Kew, Nash mines trees made available naturally through storms or disease. One tree, for instance, was killed by an infestation of beetles. Signs posted all around the exhibit inform the visitor that these trees have reached the end of their natural life, they were not harvested for the sake of art. Utilizing wood that has been sustainably sourced is an integral part of Nash’s creative method, and his long career working with this medium has enabled him to gain a special appreciation of trees. 
As an artisan, Nash does not impose his will upon the wood; rather, he views the sculpting process as a synergistic collaboration between the tree and the artisan – one in which he listens to the wood, and lets it speak. In viewing Nash’s sculptures strewn throughout the glasshouse gardens of the Temperate House, it was the imperfections of the wood – the cracks, the warping, the knots – that speak the strongest. Nestled in and among the plants and trees, Nash’s natural art, in the splendor of its flawed beauty, is enhanced by the contrast with the perfection of nature itself.

Artisan Works at Kew Gardens

 

A Tree Talks

The Talking Tree

The Talking Tree

by Richard Harris

Everybody has an opinion on Nature. But what about Nature’s opinion?
EOS magazine decided to give Nature the means to talk.
A 100 year old tree, living on the edge of Brussels, was hooked up to a fine dust meter, ozone meter, light meter, weather station  webcam and microphone. This equipment constantly measures the tree’s living circumstances. And translates this information into human language. Then, the tree lets the world know how he feels. Follow the life of the talking tree via YouTube, Flickr and Soundcloud. And friend him on Facebook.

Click here to go to the tree's blog.
Click here to see a "making of" video.

A Tree Talks