I was finishing up a set of kitchen drawers this past week for a client. While they aren’t a style I would design myself, they were a big improvement structurally on what they had and it would match the rest of their cabinets in both grain and colour. This is no easy feat as the red oak in their kitchen had darkened with age, so while the rest of the cabinets have a clear varnish, these drawers needed staining to match the rest. The drawer boxes were made from baltic birch and I was using some heavy duty glides. I was proud of what I had made and couldn’t help but think how much of an improvement over their old drawers this would be.
Then my mind wandered to our own kitchen. Some drawers are had to open, some don’t open at all. The construction is pretty horrible and they get worse every week. You see, while I make furniture, good furniture, for all sorts of people, the one person I don’t make it for is myself. While I’ve made several beds, our mattress sits on the floor. Do I make tables? You bet! But we use one my parents got rid of 30 years ago. Desks? We have a door propped up on a book case. The problem is at the end of the day, clients pay me to make furniture, I don’t pay myself to make it. So I’m far better off building furniture for other people than I am for myself, at least financially. The one exception is my daughter. I’ll build her anything, it might take a bit longer to do, but she has some of the nicest furniture in our house.
Now while this is good financial sense, it does lead to an unattractive living space (some would say college dorm style). And some days you walk into your room, see the mattress on the floor, and think, why don’t I have a nice bed?
So my new goals are to own furniture as nice as I make. This means I don’t have to make all of it, but if I buy, it needs to be as good if not better than I can make it. I think this will give me great practice in trying out new designs on myself, and it will help pad my portfolio to show others what I am capable of.
What’s the first piece? Either desk or bed, I’m on the fence. Desk would be faster, but bed would be nicer. Stay tuned… (although it might take a while)
This cheese board was meant to be put up on my Etsy Store, but it sold at a Farmer’s market before I could upload the pictures. The board is actually a reclaimed cutting board, made from an old maple cutting … Continue reading →
Lots of projects on the go this week, and while I work on some new furniture designs, I’ve put up a few color block cutting boards on Etsy. The boards are all made from locally sourced and milled maple, with … Continue reading →
52 Create – my weekly creative output for 2011! Well last week I promised something new and exciting this week, and here it is! I was cleaning out my workshop and found a pile of old broken hockey sticks. I never threw them out as I figured I could find a use for them someday, well that day came last week.
This cutting board is made out of 5 hockey sticks that have been laminated together and then planed flat. Due to the variations in construction from different companies, you get a beautiful pattern when it is all assembled. I left the outside edges unfinished to pay homage to the cutting board’s past life. The board is coated in mineral oil, keeping it food safe and looking great for years to come.
This 9×9″ cutting board is already up for sale on my Etsy site, I expect it to go fast as the NHL playoffs finish off in the upcoming weeks!
52 Create, my weekly creative outlet for 2011… I’ve been looking at spoons lately. Carved wooden spoons to be precise. You can find them all over the net, but most of them look far too nice to ever use. I’m also a firm believer in having less things in life, so why not combine two of the most useful kitchen utensils ever?
I bring you the Spatoon, 50% spatula, 50% spoon, 100% awesome. Ok so it’s not that great, it’s more of a prototype really. I was glueing up some blanks to make some wooden rings and I wasn’t paying attention and glued two pieces with the grain parallel. Not so good for rings, but fine for a spoon. It’s made from maple and walnut, which I like not only for the colour combination, but also for the ice-cream reference. Next time I’ll make the spoon a bit wider, maybe the spatula as well. I’d also like to do a bit more shaping with it, but not bad for a first go round. Probably won’t finish this one, but if I did I would use sesame or walnut oil.