Monday, October 27, 2014

DON'T TRY.

I remember a long time ago, when I first started making stuff, there was a point when I couldn't find any material.
 There wasn't a shortage of material, it's just that I refused to buy material.
I had finished doing a remodel job, and there was a bunch of new 1X4's and other material left, so I took it home.
 I played around with aging the new wood. Burning, staining, paint, water, basically I used whatever I had in a liquid form to give this new wood, that old wood appeal.
 I made a couple crates from this self aged wood and they housed DVD's and coloring books for the last 5 years.
 Once we moved to our new space, I had a few pieces that weren't gonna make it, and these crates were on the chopping block.
 I decided to put em' on legs.
I didn't want to do hairpin legs because I'm sick to death of them. I have a ton of 1" round stock steel, so I figured I'd play with it.
 I had to make a jig, actually, I made 4 jigs to hold the steel in place. Its round...it rolls around, and trying to line up the angles on each end would be a disaster, so I dedicated way too much time on these round stock legs.
 The second crate, I used square stock and saved about 3 hours.
The round leg crate went on the floor for sale, and the square leg crate made it's way back home with me.
  Even though there isn't any real "wow" factor in these crates on legs, for me, it boils down to knowledge and experience.
 You see, now I know exactly what it takes to age wood, and I know what it takes to make legs from round stock steel. I can carry that knowledge with me and apply it if the situations ever arise where those applications are an option or a request.
 Making these pieces has always been a journey. Mistakes are always welcomed when I build because that is how you learn. If I wasn't learning from the things that I make, then really, what's the point?
 It wasn't until my late 30's that I discovered, if you can admit to yourself that you don't know shit, then you've opened yourself up to discover that you can LEARN everything.
 That's why when you meet people in their 20's, you ask yourself, "how does one survive by being so fucking dumb?" Forgive them, because they're too busy convincing themselves that they know everything.
 Lately at my 9 to 5, we've been working with a lot of glass. Before then, I can honestly say that I have never allocated one second to thinking about glass. In any situation where the application of glass came up, well...I'd call a "glass guy".Now that I'm in a position where we use it all the time, I want to know everything about it. How it's made, the different types, how to work with it, how to modify it.
 The point I'm trying to make is...Know your shit.
Once you "know your shit", you're unstoppable. Who can tell you differently when you know your shit?
 The first step is...you have to WANT to know. Most people find comfort in ignorance.
Charles Bukowski once said.."don't TRY...DO. (trying is for losers)". Those words always pass through me when I'm about to embark on something I haven't done before.
 Think about it, do you want someone to TRY to get you your check, or TRY to install your cable, or TRY to fix your leaky roof?
 Fuck that...don't TRY motherfucker...DO.

Monday, October 20, 2014

LIMP DICK IN A WHORE HOUSE

Anybody that makes anything with their hands knows that the hardest part of their craft, is figuring out WHAT to make.
 Musician, photographer, painter, sculptor, whatever, they'll all tell you the same thing.
After my whirlwind month of moving and working and renovating, I finally had a chance to go to Salvage One.
 There was a beautiful live edge oak console table that was left over from the move. It was one of my first and favorite pieces that I've made, It had served me well, but I refuse to cram something into my new place that is no longer needed.
 My idea was to take it to the shop and chop it up into a coffee table because to be totally honest...coffee tables sell pretty fast.
 When I got to Salvage One and told Collin my idea, he had told me to leave it as it is, and in fact, HE might buy it for his new home.
 That all sounds great right? Bring the table in, someone buys it right away, no work to be done, call it a day.
 For me....it's like having a limp dick in a whore house.
I WANTED to work. Even if it was re purposing something I had already re purposed.
 I wandered through the shop, and sitting right on top of one of the work tables was a slab of live edge wormy hickory.
 Apron...on, radio...on...cut-cut-weld-weld-sand-sand-screw-screw-oil-oil-buff-buff...BAM! Coffee table.
 Like Edward Scissor Hands with steel and wood.
Lately, I've been feeling like a dick.
 The requests for custom work are coming in, and I feel like I should change the name from Breclaimed to..."NO".
 Most people can't wrap their brain around why I constantly refuse work. Even I question it.
Custom work equals money, but it's just not what I do.
 I make what my soul tells me to make, you like it, you buy it. It's too big or too small, YOU make it work, or don't. That's my business model.
 If someone walks into Restoration Hardware and sees a piece, would they ask the sales person if they can make it 12 inches longer?
 So for those that request...I'm flattered. I really am. I appreciate your faith in my hand, and I'm not being a dick, it's just not what I do.

Monday, October 6, 2014

DON'T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB

As much pleasure as I get from building whatever I want, every now and then I have to build something that wasn't on my mental docket.
 As I have mentioned before, we are converting a indoor BMX park into an advertising agency for my day job.
 Not only is there the typical construction aspect, (and nothing in this place can fall under "typical") but there is some furniture that is being made.
 What you see here is the beginning of a conference table, a 10'X4' conference table that will have to support a 1000lb. concrete top.
 I was asked about 50 times that day if this base will hold a 1000lb. concrete top, and the answer is...
I sure fucking hope so.
 I know the furniture I make is heavy duty, but I don't usually go dropping 1000lbs. of anything on them, so with that being said...I guess we'll find out soon enough.
 Truth be told, I'm pretty confident in the structure. I went over it quite a few times, securing possible weak points, inventing back up bracing, and what not.
 The customer wanted "industrial looking" and that's what I'm delivering.
The funny thing is, once the base is in the conference room, the concrete top will be poured in place. What that means is...That's it. That's where it stays, forever. The client asked if it would be able to move with them if and when they vacate the space, and I literally laughed a semi diabolical laugh and just said "nope".
 I guess you could move it, but who in their right mind would go through that expense?
This whole project has been a blast, and once it's done, I'm going to dedicate a blog post to it.
 It'll be like nothing you've seen before.
"You never work a day in your life when you love what you do"....true story, I'm living proof.