Monday, September 8, 2014
THE ART OF DETERMINATION
Part of the inspiration came from a trip to Pottery Barn with Laura.
As we walked through the store, we were both commenting on how contrived their "reclaimed" furniture was.
It's so manufactured and so precisely distressed that it seems that they had perfected the art of "soul removal".
I mean, their furniture is heartless and cold, but I guess it's a wonderful package for the instant gratification market.
I put it in the category of "mall art". Sometimes I see mall art, and for a split second, my head is telling me that it's a beautiful painting that would bring my living room to life, and then I think of anyone that comes to my house and says "no shit? you bought a painting from Pictures-R-Us!"
So...this is about as real and rustic as it gets.
The wood is actually a mixture of Hickory and Oak. It is widely used as road construction lumber or tunnel lumber. It's the type of lumber they use in coal mines.
I'm an industrial kind of guy, so I like to use materials that were meant to sustain severe punishment, and I have come to terms with the fact that I have to sacrifice beauty for durability.
I attempted to make the wood "pretty", but the planer I was using would not accept the material. It would flat out stop as soon as the material touched the blades.
So I grabbed a belt sander with 50 grit....I sanded for hours...and this wood flipped me the bird.
I'm not going to fight nature. It is what it is.
It's not a table for everyone, but for me, it's a sense of accomplishment.
I enjoyed hand mortising the base, I can now take that application on to other projects without fear.
A great piece of furniture has to have soul.
There are a lot of manufactured pieces that still have heart. In fact, when the heart of a designer is projected through a production piece...well, that's why Eames and Henry Miller are so popular, they had that down to a science.
I've had to turn down quite a few projects lately, and I was talking to someone who was telling me that I should hire someone. They were telling me how most successful artists have "interns" that create the work while the artist direct them.
I'm not ok with that. If you buy a piece from me, it came from my hand, period.
Do I lose out on money because of that thinking? Yes, I absolutely do. I would be livid if I bought a painting that I thought was from an artist and have it turn out to be made by an intern.
My thinking is this, if you have sought me out in order to acquire one of my pieces, wouldn't you rather just wait for it?
Who has ever said...."I need a 500lb table right fucking now"
When it comes to custom work, it's only semi-custom because I'm going to build what I want.
Most people are cool with that and some I send to other craftsmen that I know who will make exactly what someone wants.
Money is great, but I won't let it turn something I love into something I hate.
A lot of people say "wouldn't it be awesome to make a living by doing something you love to do?" My answer is this " wouldn't it be awesome to make money doing what you love and NOT turning it into a job?".