This year I have taken on the interest of working wood with traditional hand tools. Yes, hammer, chisel and wood plane. My friends in the construction business ask me, “what are you crazy, you can’t make any money building things with a hammer, hand saw and nails?” What can I say they are right! But the truth is that a power saw is a very impersonal tool. My fascination with wood working circles the realm of artistry. A tree, its grains, the true beauty of its existence is best discovered by a chisel, mallet and plane. I have found that working with wood and hand tools is inspiring. A wood’s grain pattern has various utility; Hard tight grain, chopping block, tight burl, furniture. Wood’s versatility is only bound by the creativity of the woodworker. My friends’ pragmatic views have done little to quell my drive to pursue woodworking as a tangible artistic expression of my client’s vision of a space. Everyone is doing the Home Depot, Ikea cookie cutter crap. Let’s not do that! Ikea furniture (by their own admission) is designed and built to last 3-5 years. I want to build something that the client will pass on to kids and grandkids, a true thing of beauty!
We have been doing a lot of bathrooms this year. These bathrooms are sporting hand built wooden vanities. This is really our opportunity to showcase our skill and artistic expression. In wood working joinery is paramount. Wood workers express themselves and their skill through the joinery they produce.
Here is an example of a mass produced vanity wall cabinet. The drawers are made of paper composite sides (pulp paper wood). It does not last very long. I realize that people want to save money, but this is real crap. It is glue and wood by-products. It possess everything but quality. Wouldn’t you want to purchase something that somebody made with a true passion? Every day Americans buy crap made in a factory in China. It has no soul, we bought it because it was cheap and it looks like something we saw displayed in a magazine ad. The fact that Ikea is pushing disposable furniture with at utility life of 3-5 years further perpetuates this trend. Quality has a price and a distinction in class!
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