Monday, November 16, 2015


Lately, a lot of people have been telling me, "I wanna build custom furniture."
 My response is usually along the lines of " that's great, I want to shoot lasers from my eyeballs".
My intention is not to shit upon ones dreams, quite the contrary, I want you to be awesome.
 My advice is this...before you go dropping thousands of dollars on tools, a workspace, and materials, you need to hone your skills in the art of "critical thinking" otherwise known as "making shit work'. Once you have mastered that skill, you need to know "material management", which is also known as "making the shit you have in front of you work"
 Take photo 1 for example.
It's a rolling bar made from a door that my partner Zack found next to his garbage can in his alley.
 He looked at that crappy door, and loaded it into his truck before even thinking about what it could be. (excellent display of critical thinking).
 We buy our steel in 24' lengths because it's cheaper to buy it in the lengths our supplier has it delivered to them, and there's always something left over after a project (material management), so the frame of the bar is made from left over steel.
 The side cladding are the cut offs from a cladding job.
Do you see the trend here?
 Always think about your next move.
That's about the only advice that's worth anything that I can give.
 I love building chairs because I honestly can't afford the vintage industrial chairs from the 30's and 40's.
I look at vintage chairs on the internet like women look at shoes.
 I've built quite a few now, and slowly but surely, they're getting better and closer to the look I want for my kitchen table.
 Eventually I'll make one where I'm like "BAM...that's the make 3 more".
I like the size and simplicity of the legs on this one. The stool round, I'm not so crazy about, it's just what we had in the shop. The chair back is getting there. For this chair back, I cut some left over sheet metal and proceeded to ram it into one of the giant beam columns in our shop to get a center crease, then I hammered the shit out of it on our concrete floor to get the contour. (make shit work).
 We don't have an English wheel or a power hammer, or an anvil, or metal working hammers, or a brake, or a shear...but we do have critical thinking.
 Time and time again at our shop, we find a way to make things work. We're never crippled by what we don't have. If there is a vision, there's a way. It's never the best way, or the easiest way, but we find a way.
 The beauty of this craft lies not only in a piece created, it makes the craftsman aware of  his shortcomings and guides his hand past them.
Friday night, I saw a post on Instagram that read "pray for Paris".
 I don't watch the news, so I was clueless, but I jumped on the computer to see what happened.
Everyone has an opinion, and it seems that a lot of people jumped at the chance to preach a agenda.
 My personal opinion is this....It doesn't matter what the attackers religious or political stance was.
It was a group of murderers who shot a bunch of regular people. Regular people with their own life struggles who just wanted to grab some Cambodian food or go see a rock show on a Friday night.
 A country does not represent it's people.
All Americans aren't rednecks, all French aren't rude, all Irish aren't drunks, all English aren't uptight, all Middle Easterners aren't AK-47 wielding terrorists.
 The murderers target of choice completely erased whatever plight they're fighting for.
It would be like me getting into an argument with my girl, then going across the street and punching the 86 year old woman sweeping leaves from her porch, in the face.
 I see a lot of post bashing Muslims. I have a friend who's an artist, who's studio is right next to our shop.
He goes by 720 (Tony) and he is a Muslim. I don't know him as a Muslim, I know him as one of the kindest, friendliest, most positive attitude having people I've ever met.
 My point is this...Whoever takes an innocent life is a murderer. Not a Muslim, not a Jihadist, not a Syrian rebel, not a Taliban, not ISIS,  they're just a band of murderers. That's the only title they get. Any other title relates them to a bigger issue or cause that is clamoring for some kind of attention.
 Call a spade a spade.

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