A new direction…

CCLP 2

It’s been three years now that I started my professional venture into woodworking.  What was once a hobby is now my full time job and so far it’s paying the bills.  The goal was to sell small runs of custom furniture, not one-offs, but limited editions.  For the area I live I don’t feel there is the customer base for bespoke pieces designed and created for one customer alone.  I do think there is room for small runs, enabling me to make jigs in order to speed up the production process but not making such huge numbers that it becomes mind numbing.

Where am I going with all this? Good question.  When I started I decided the best route to get me to my furniture goals was to start with small items, cutting boards, bird houses, wood toys, etc.  These items can be fun to design and make, and selling them at craft shows definitely spreads the word about who I am and what I do.  I also ended up in many shops selling my products wholesale.  This was even better as the sales were guaranteed and much less time me being a salesman (something I hate) and more time me actually making things (something I love).

The only issue is you end up making what you make.  By this I mean if you always make cutting boards, you’re always going to make cutting boards.  Sometimes you need to throw yourself out there and start new projects, projects that might not pay, might not work, but new things.  Making salad servers or iPad stands is a good way to help pay the bills, but I can’t say I’m fulfilled at the end of a day making these items.

To this end I’ve not signed up for any craft shows this year.  I’m doing one last big show in Toronto (One of a Kind) and that’s it.  I’ll still work on wholesaling to shops, custom canoe paddles, and I might try an art show in the fall, but for now I’m going to take some time, time where I won’t be making money, and start building the furniture in my many notebooks.  I have a lot of designs that have never left the pages of my books, and it’s about time I get started on them.  Will they sell? Who knows, but they definitely won’t if I don’t make them!

Stay tuned, this could be an exciting year…

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Bespoke Prosthetics

Having worked with amputees in a previous career, I was blown away by Bespoke Prosthetics.  Prosthetics are generally purely functional.  Designed to be light, and serve their purpose (ie. help regain mobility).  It is rare for a prosthetic to be what we would call “beautiful”.  And when we think of this, the loss of a limb to someone is so much more than just their mobility.  People can be very self conscious of how the prosthetic looks, often wanting to cover it up and hide it from society.  So seeing the incredible designs by Bespoke really gets you thinking of what is possible in this field.

There’s a great interview on core77 (where I found out about this company)