Monday, April 20, 2015

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE

We had an extra beam left over from the stair project we were working on.
 Last Saturday I woke up with the idea of using that beam for a bench.
I'm very proud of the stair project me and Zack did. Joined beams with steel inlays, every stair was hand planed, the fire door landing, faux beam on beam trim, steel railings with glass, sheet metal patch work, and the kicker is....no drawing, no real plan, 100% design on the fly.
 Me and Zack work well together for a couple of reasons. Neither really questions the others ideas. It doesn't matter who's idea it is, or who is gonna execute it or how it's gonna get done. If the idea is good...it just gets done. We also want the same thing...we want to create in an environment that we're comfortable in, we want to build for people who put faith in our design and skill, and we want to have fun doing what we love.
 With the bench, I wanted to ride the line of rustic and clean.
Sometimes rustic is too rustic, but going full on rustic is supposed to push the boundary of being really cool and being a piece of shit.
 Going clean/modern is cool to briefly look at, but sometimes it's just too sterile for my taste and there's not a lot of soul in super modern pieces.
 When you get those two styles to go out on a date, one of two things  are gonna happen...someone is gonna excuse themselves from the table to use the restroom and never come back, or there's gonna be a condom floating in the toilet in the morning.
 About a year ago, I had made a similar style bench.
I had used an Adze (a bowl carvers tool) and a scoop draw knife to carve out the swoop.
 This time, I used a chainsaw.
I'm a city boy. Born and raised in Chicago. That being said, I'm not too familiar with chainsaws.
I drew my radius on the beam, and proceeded to cut notches to the depth of my line, and then chiseled the material between each notch. I can honestly say that about 40% of that beam ended up in my ears. Zack was at the shop, and he was welding up the base while I was playing Texas chainsaw massacre.
 Can I tell you something? Using an Adze and scoop draw knife is cleaner and faster and you have way more control, but using a chainsaw....that's a helluva lotta fun.
 If you have anger issues or are having a bad day or whatever....go get yourself a $60 electric chainsaw from Home Depot and go hack up a log or a beam. You'll feel a lot better.
 Once the beam was shaped, cleaned, and resting in it's base, I stared at it for a couple of days.
I felt a need to add "something" to it.
 Zack actually stopped me and said "just leave it alone, it's how it's supposed to be." He was right. It was exactly what I originally saw in my head, and I had to accept the fact that the party was over.
 I had absolutely no intention of spewing my "life lessons" in this blog post, but it dawned on me about the power of "walking away" from something.
 In my craft, walking away from a piece is a make or break moment. It always determines the success of a piece. A piece can be over done or under done, and finding that sweet spot is what makes a piece.
 In life, walking away from something has the exact same result.
I could loosen all the lug nuts on that guys car who owes me a shit ton of money, and see him on the news when all 4 of his tires vacate his vehicle when he gets on the highway,or I can walk away and focus my energy on moving forward.
 It applies to all aspects of life. Knowing when to walk away when something is done. A job, a relationship, business deal, a purchase...whatever. Knowing when to walk away is a way to find peace in a restless situation.
 Before I get too deep and wordy, I'm gonna walk away from this post.

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