365 days of peace: a peaceful past

KIMG0605I made today’s peace from a piece of barn board. I thought it was oak at first but it seems more like chestnut now. It’s old and worn. The past informs everything we are. It’s our history, our glory and our shame. When things get hard  it’s too easy to idealize the past and long for a time when things seemed simpler. Nothing is as simple as it seems and that idealized past is an illusion.  Peace isn’t in the past or the future. It’s right now. 46/319

If I can count and hit things can I play the drums?

KIMG0194It’s  a serious question. Last summer I bought a partial drum set.  It came with a bass drum, chain driven pedal, 3 toms  but  no snare. It needs new heads, and some hard ware. A high hat and a cymbal would be cool too. Even in its present condition It’s fun to hit the toms and play around with rhythm patterns.  In fact the cat has started playing the kick drum with his tail. Since I don’t want to be shown up by the cat  I really want to fix it up and learn actual patterns and fills. The time is now!. It will be loud and I will probably end up with a bruise or two.  Does anyone have any tips for someone new to drum repair and drumming?   Continue reading

Southern Vermont Garlic Festival

KIMG0156It’s been a crazy summer. I am participating in the 50 song in 90 day challenge. as of this moment I have a meager 14 songs,  I am super busy,  I knew that it would be tough to juggle everything, and I have 30 days to catch up, Jess and I went to Clayton, NY for a wedding (Congrats again to David and Lara you’re both awesome.) The Southern Vermont Garlic and Herb Festival starts tomorrow and I will be setting up my space in a few hours. Am I ready? Absolutely not. Will I be? Absolutely. Today is also My dad’s KIMG0157birthday and Slade’s Birthday. Happy Birthday guys and thanks for dedicating time on your birthday/birthday weekend to help me set up and sell my stuff.  My mom is leaving work early to help organize my merchandise. Jess is in the living room turning business cards into magnets and I am working on trivets and hoping to get one more table in before Saturday.  Which looks less and less likely as the hours tick by but I am still stubbornly optimistic. Which is disturbingly out of character. KIMG0158The silo that Jess and I lived in was directly across the street from the garlic festival grounds.  I have to admit that the prospect of standing there for 8 hours staring at the hole in the skyline where the silo use to be is not very appealing.  My mother, ever the planer has looked at the map and, has informed me that there will be a bounce house in the way but I think the silo was taller than a bounce house. In non garlic fest news.  Jess won’t let me use the washing machine to spin projects for spin art painting, I can’t imagine why. . . but  I have come up with a plan to use a brokenKIMG0155 record player instead. It beats using a coarse thread screw and a wood block.  I found a cool power pole in the woods by the hospital this week. I want it. It’s been cut up a bit already but it’s still too big to drag out of the woods, but with a chain saw, a drill, an ax, and a reciprocating saw I could cut it into more manageable pieces. I know poles like this are coated in creosote so that might be an issue. Anything else? Etsy shop will be fully stocked again soon.   Have a fun and safe labor day and if your anywhere near Southern Vermont this Labor Day weekend check out Garlic fest.

The Furniture Remix Project

What a crazy summer. I can’t believe in a few hours it will be August. I have a lot to do this month. I am the August artist of the month for the Bennington Arts Guild. I should be set up but I am not. I will go in and do that on Tuesday. If your in the BenKIMG0054nington area Friday, August 5, 2016 stop the Guild from 5-7 for my artist reception.  We are a month away from the Southern Vermont Garlic Festival.  I have a lot of work to do. I have been playing with the barn board. I managed to make a cool table.  The picture sucks but it looks cool in person. I have been experimenting with different edge techniques. I tried to use roofing nails. It was an interesting idea that took way too much effort and would require hundreds of nails. Sure It did not work out so well, but IKIMG0039 am going to try to use really thin sheet metal as an edge cover instead. When I use pine sometimes the finish is absorbed unevenly or sap leaks and you need to cover that or it looks unprofessional. Speaking of unprofessional i have decided that I will name my pieces instead of numbering them. I am lazy so  I will be naming them after songs I have written so I don’t actually have to come up with new tittles. Like i have a crazy red and black splotched thing with lots of holes and a few burn marks, it’s called “consequences have consequences” which happens  to be a song I wrote a few weeks ago for 50/90.   I am calling this scrap wood enterprise “The Furniture Remix Project” because I am using lots of different pieces of furniture and what I do is a kind of tactile remix. It’s giving a new identity to old pieces of wood. it’s a fresh perspective on old and damaged pieces.  Onward!

Barn Board and an Artist Bio

IMG_20160522_090946 (1)I was lucky to get a pick up truck load full of barn wood two weeks ago. I have not made anything yet but it is some really lovely stuff, with lots of character and history. Wood is constantly changing. It loses moisture and shrinks, it absorbs moisture and expands. One of the cool things about working with wood is  how it can be altered by its environment.  What is nice about this selection is there are several wide planks, 12″ 13″ and 14″ and there are several boards over 6′ long. Wood like that can be difficult to come by. There are sections that are unusable because they are too dry but a majority of the wood is usable. There are 3 short  4″x 4″ posts, one piece that is 1″ thick, and the rest of the wood is planed to 3/4″ or 1/2″ thick. I am excited about working with this new wood.

I also came across some nice pieces of pine last week. I am rip cutting one of the piecesIMG_20160604_203940 in to 2″ wide strips to use for a frame in a table that I am working on.  My table saw does not work so I am using the circular saw to make my cuts. I have gotten pretty good at making straight cuts but there is occasionally a board that is a little wider or narrower. When that happens I just clamp them together and use a hand plane until they are the same width.

IMG_20160603_192442I am working on my bio and artist statement for the Art’s Guild. I always struggle with those kind of projects. I live in Vermont and I work with wood sums it up for me, but I need more than that.  Honestly I have trouble self identifying as an artist. I am getting  more comfortable the longer I do this but it still feels weird. If I want to sell my work wholesale I need to get over that. So no more putting it off. I will finish  my artist statement this week.

Cabinets and Table Tops

IMG_20160419_192746It’s Spring! Time to get outside and shake off the winter.  Telephone poles  are plastered with tag sale signs and the outdoor flea markets are slowly returning. We were lucky this year it never got too cold and we had below average snowfall but I know I still had a bout of cabin fever and I am happy for the warmer weather. The table top/wall art I started from the futon is glued and ready to sand. Continue reading