I've started to post process pics and other stuff over on Instagram. Check it out here: https://www.instagram.com/gilmcneill/
We have had a couple of weeks of real winter weather here in North Carolina. It has been a good time to hunker down and do some rough drawings of kitchen cabinets for the house. And when the snow comes, the birds are always very active. It has been fun to watch them through the window and get a few pictures of them "in action" around the feeders...
Chickadee & titmouse coming in for a landing...
We're in the home stretch with the new shop. This weekend we put up tounge and groove pine on the walls. My friend Keith found the material. A family was remodeling an old farmhouse nearby, and they allowed us to come salvage the decades old pine for free. With the help of another friend, Dave, it was a day's worth of work for some really nice material. The pine has a nice warm tone and beautiful character.
We have all kinds of projects to do right now as we build our house and the new shop. One of those was to build a well house. My friend Marc helped me build it. It's made mostly from scrap materials from other projects, and the board and batten siding comes from pine we have milled over the past few years.
This past weekend Cheryl & I made a trip to Virginia to install some recently finished cabinets. These cabinets were made to go with this desk I designed and built about a year ago. It was a great trip to a beautiful place and an opportunity to spend some (well overdue) time with good friends.
Cheryl and I bought some land about 5 years ago and have been slowly working towards moving out to it. So far we have built a road, a sawmill shed, and an outhouse. Now onto the big stuff...a shop and a house. We are diving straight into both. Whew! The shop is well under way and the foundation for the house is almost done.
Some pics of the shop are below...It will have a main work area as well as a small office and a finishing room. I feel lucky to be building this shop and can't wait to move in and start working in it. The setting is beautiful. I'll be surrounded by oaks (white & red), hickory, and red maple. Inspiration right outside the windows.
Cabinet boxes taped up for finishing...drawers patiently waiting.
I have recently been enjoying reading Speaking of Furniture...Conversations with 14 American Masters. The book was written by Bebe Pritam Johnson & Warren Eames Johnson who own the furniture gallery Pritam & Eames in East Hampton, NY. The pages are full of wonderful pictures of furniture made by the 14 makers that are interviewed, and each interview focuses on the maker's process, his/her philosophy on art & craft, and the "Why?" of furniture making.
A quote by James Krenov really struck a chord with me...
"You know, there is one last defense for people like us, one last reason that will always be there, and that is the emotional content of what we do. Nevermind the village crafts thing, that is gone; but we have one defense, and that is we bring together the essence of ourselves in our work, for better or for worse, whatever it is that we are. If we have integrity, a certain amount of skill, and perhaps even a bit of talent, then some very interesting things can happen."
I personally still hold out hope that the "village crafts thing" is not gone. But, this quote helps crystallize for me why the individual should pursue his/her trade...with his/her own creative energy and integrity...even in a world that already has so much stuff in it.