Monday, November 25, 2013

LOVE AND A .45


Never saw the movie, but the title is appropriate.
 I'll break down the .45 part first.
The whole table is based off the 45 degree angle.
 I spent a total of 5 minutes being awake in Geometry class in high school. If I had any idea of how much I would use geometry in my everyday life as a adult, I think I would have been less concerned about getting home so I could beat off, and more focused on what was being taught.
 That's the past and I earned my "self-taught" life badge anyway.
Lately I have been making quite a bit of rustic pieces, and I felt like doing something more contemporary, but still keeping it raw.
 A lot of furniture I see lately is what I call "Pseudo-Steel". What that means is, a lot of steel tube, or steel veneer. I get it. Steel is expensive and heavy, but when you put your hands on a piece of SOLID steel...you can almost feel your forehead slope a little bit, as you regress to caveman status.
 That being said...this is solid steel and walnut, my 2 favorite materials living happily ever after.
Now the Love part.
 We had our first parent teacher conference last week.
Why I was having anxiety...I don't know. He's 3, what are they gonna say?
 I wasn't really worried about what they were going to tell me. My mind was just being blown by the fact that I...me...probably the most immature man on earth, was attending a parent teacher conference.
 I am known for blurting out the most offensive and inappropriate things in the most delicate of situations. It took a lot to bottle it up for 20 minutes.
 The first part of his report card was religion. "Max understands who God is and who Jesus is, but is unable to recognize that Jesus is the SON of God"
 I... wanted to blurt out "NO FUCKING WAY. You guys are amazing, because I don't understand who God is and I went to 9 years of Catholic school, and in 4 short months, my 3 year old has mastered the "God Concept" ?"
 I didn't blurt that out. I nodded and smiled like a good boy.
That whole meeting could have been done in under 10 seconds...
"Is Max being an asshole?"
"No, sir"
"see ya next quarter."

Monday, November 18, 2013

PICTURE THIS

I like the little things.
 You won't hear women say that too often, but I'm talking about the little things in life.
I like laying in bed with Max playing IPAD games, I like following Max and his mom to school in the morning on my way to work, I like my Friday night ritual of hanging out with my brother-in-law Diego and his wife Sandy while their son Matias and Max go Ape Shit.
 It's all these little things that are woven into my days that make life bearable.
It's not that the little things haven't always been there in one capacity or another, it's just as you get a little older, a little wiser, and throw a child into the mix, that you start to recognize  how fast time goes by, how precious and valuable time is and what it is that makes you happy.
 I'm not fucking Buddha or Yoda, nor am I telling you anything you don't already know, BUT....ya gotta admit that after reading this, all the little things in life that are important to YOU, have just flashed through your head.
 With that being said, my job here is done. As much as I want everyone here to buy my stuff, I write these passages to share my brain and on occasion...to make one think or at least reflect.
 In the spirit of "the little things" (keep your penis jokes to yourself) I knocked out a pretty cool picture frame.
 I really like making the little home accent pieces like the railroad spike hooks and the wine bottle vases. I wanted to add to the small things, and while searching for a picture frame at Target, I decided to make my own with scraps.
 The body of the frame is from a cut off of the farm table, and the angle iron is a cut off from the table I re did while garbage picking.
I hand mortised the 5x7 recess for the picture.
 This is my useable prototype, and I'm definitely going to add to it.
I'd like to hinge a piece of glass for the photo cover, and maybe figure out a cool way to illuminate it.
 The devil is in the details.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I DID IT MYYYYY WAYYYY

Laura had a rough night at work last night, and early this morning she was telling me "I'm getting too old for this".
 We've all uttered those words, but the fact is, we're not "too old", we've just got to a point where "we're too SMART" for whatever it is that we feel that we're too old for.
 I often wonder where I would be if I didn't start touring the world with punk rock bands when I was 16 and rode that into my late 20's.
 Where would I be if I went and got a engineering degree, and got a nice 6 figure job? Would my life be any better?
 I don't know. I don't care. I chose this.
I decided at a early age, to dream. I decided to do what I have to do to survive while I chased various dreams.
 One of two things are gonna happen...
1. I'll chase my dreams to the grave
2. I'll have my moment in the sun.
 In order to pursue a dream, one has to sacrifice stability. You shun from the 9 to 5 slavery, and you put your days together as you see fit.
 I, by no means, am knocking those who chose to get a degree and a good job. In fact, I have moments of envy.
 I work hard to balance both. I'm not special, or unique, we all work hard and we all have different dreams.
 Ok, I just had to get that out of my brain.
I finished the Farm Table project.
 I work alone most of the time, and I'm forced to carry stuff by myself . So, keeping that in mind, this ridiculously heavy table can be broken down and loaded in the back of a YUGO if need be.
 It's definitely a Industrial Heirloom piece. A piece that can be handed down through generations.
Even if it was involved in a house fire, the base would stand up, and one would just have to get a new top. I doubt that can be said for anything IKEA has to offer.

Monday, November 11, 2013

LEARNING HOW TO DANCE


A couple weeks ago was my In-Laws 50th Anniversary.
 Their kids put a really nice party together for them, and I, on my never ending journey of self discovery, learned a couple of things about myself.
1. I should own a suit. Just one. Just in case. If I should  have to act like a adult once every few years, I should at least LOOK like one.
2. I wish I knew how to dance.
 If it were back in the day when I used to drink, I would've danced with everyone and everything...then vomited on a piano and punched somebody in the face, so it's a good thing I don't partake these days.
 There was a moment in the evening when Laura asked me to dance. Being the mother fucking gentleman that I am, I accepted her offer and began to awkwardly sway as I destroyed her high heels.
 She pulled me in close and whispered in my ear "let me lead", and I whispered back "I DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS."
 I know you're waiting for me to assimilate this experience to this Copper factory table, so here it goes.
 Me and this particular piece danced.
There was a lot of pushing and pulling on my end, and I think in the end, this piece was happy when the song was over, and I went and sat down hoping not to be asked to dance again.
 It's not that I'm not happy with our dance, I busted a couple of impressive moves.
I took a Copper laundry pan that was discarded on a roof, and turned it into a perfectly fitted top, To my dismay, that's where our dance ended.
 I'm never fully satisfied with a piece...any piece. People say that's a good thing. "A sign of a true artist". To that I say "BLAH-BLAH-FUCKITY-BLAH".
 There are just some pieces that don't NEED a whole lot done to them. I have to accept that and move forward.
 If you knew how much time I spent staring at this piece, thinking of how to make it better, you would think I was bus stop crazy.
 It's just one of those situations where you do the best you can, you try to have a little fun, and then you call it a night....kind of like my dance.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

ONE DOWN, THREE TO GO

A few weeks ago I stopped into Dark Matter Coffee and bumped into my friend Cintia.
 Cintia owns a store in Logan Square called Reform Objects. Me and Cintia go way back.
When we were kids we hung out in the same group. I used to ride her home on the handle bars of my Bicycle and do real dicky stuff, like jumping off curbs and slamming on the brakes, sending her flying into various lawns, but she's one of my longest running friends.
 Her shop sells really sleek Mid Century furniture, and we were talking about her business and my work. I was telling her about how I'm not sure what's harder....building this stuff, or writing about it.
 Anyway, I wrapped up the sewer cap table this week. I'm not sure if I'm really stoked on the piece itself, or the fact that I finally completed something on the project list.
 Here's it's origins...the base was a light fixture (or at least PART of a light fixture), the post is 2" steel pipe and a coupling, and the top is a sewer cap.
 Fred Sanford would be very pleased and keep his "you big dummy" comments directed at Lemonts lazy ass.
 I almost forgot why I brought up the Cintia reference. Someone had contacted her about a custom piece. The women wanted a really rustic/industrial table, so Cintia referred her to me.
 I like the fact that I've become a authority on these kinds of pieces. It's great for my already inflated ego.
 I let her know that I had a few pieces available, and that if she wanted something custom, it would be very expensive. I explained that if I do a custom piece, I have to stop all my other work to focus on making someone else happy, and the whole reason I do this is to make ME happy.
 Needless to say, I never heard from the potential customer, and that's ok.
I would rather build for the customer that understands and respects that.
 As much as that limits a client base, the one thing that isn't for sale is my integrity. .

Monday, November 4, 2013

OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE

My projects are haunting me.
 All weekend I've been obsessing about them.
They've gone through so many changes in my head, and this morning I finally pulled the trigger on the copper top cart.
 I decided to go with copper boat nails and roves. A copper nail with a rove (it's like a washer) acts as a copper rivet in hand boat building. They're expensive, but necessary.
 I know a lot of people shit their pants when they see the prices on some of this stuff, but before you soil your chonies, you have to understand this...In SOME cases, not all, but some, a lot of research goes into a project. I've done so much research on fucking boat nails, that I feel compelled to build a boat (if a talking rock tells me to gather one of each animal on earth, then Houston, we have a problem)
 There have been some pieces that I've made, that when you add up time and materials, I've made a total of about $7 per hour off a piece.
 So why do it?
Labor of love. I love doing this. If you love what you do, then it's not "work".
 There is also a balance that one has to embrace, and learning that balance takes time and patience.
The balance is this...for every piece that I eat shit on, another one de-shits it.
 Most of the ones where I financially lost on, have opened new doors or opportunities or learning experiences.
 So, that's that. I thought I'd throw it out there. A informed customer is a happy customer.
I got the stickers printed up. I'm not that happy with the actual printing quality, but you get what you pay for. If you want a few to slap on your kids lunchbox, email me a mailing address and I'll send em' off.   breclaimed@gmail.com
 Have a good Monday if that's possible.