75 days off from events.
With that much time off, chaos has returned.
Mrs M found her way into the
garage woodshop, and used her mad left brain skills to create some boards that are … different.
In some cases, very different.
The results are unique, and won’t be found again. Chaos boards are not bilaterally symmetrical, as most of my boards are. These boards find their own balancing point … in the chaos.
Cutting Board 17 – 408. Chaos board, End Grain. 13″ x 13″ x 1-1/4″.
Cutting Board 17 – 409. This was built to be a chaos board … but didn’t end up that way. End Grain. 12-1/2″ x 13″ x 1-1/4″.
Cutting Board 17 – 410. Chaos Board, End Grain. Jatoba, Cherry, Padauk, Black Walnut, White Oak, Hard Maple, Canarywood, Hickory, Purpleheart & Yellowheart. 9-1/2″ x 13-1/4″ x 1-1/4″.
Cutting Board 17 – 411. Chaos Board, End Grain. Black Walnut, Hard Maple, Cherry, White Oak, Purpleheart, Jatoba, Hickory, Goncalo Alves, Yellowheart & Canarywood. 13-1/2″ x 17-3/4″ x 1-1/4″.
Cutting Board 17 -412. Chaos Board, End Grain. Cherry, Oak, Hard Maple, Black Walnut, Padauk, Hickory, Canarywood, Yellowheart, Purpleheart & Bloodwood. 13-1/2″ x 16″ x 1-1/4″.
Once upon a time, there was a Lady that suggested I make cutting boards. I had made the mistake of telling her that the glue-up process was the same as the technique I used for the just-completed routed bowls I had made …
… and she said, “Make me a cutting board.”
Because her wish is my command, I did.
With age comes wisdom, you see.
I carefully selected the woods for her board:
Honey Locust – because as nice as she is … she definitely has thorns
Cherry – because she can be sweet
Jatoba – because sometimes I have no idea what she means
Walnut – because she’s definitely nutty
Tigerwood – because I’ve seen her angry
You can see a photo essay on the making of her original board here, as well as a follow-up post when I restored the board to like-new condition after 4 years of use, here.
Once upon a time, but more recently, the Lady suggested that she would like another cutting board for the counter, but smaller than the first cutting board I made her. Knowing that I had no choice in the matter, I took her wish as my command. I of course thought that I should use matching woods for the boards that will be displayed in the same kitchen as the original board, and here is what resulted:
Cutting Board 17 – 108. Goncalo Alves, Black Walnut, Honey Locust, Jatoba & Cherry. Edge Grain. 11″ x 17″ x 1″.
And because you always give a Lady just a bit more than she expects, she also got this small board:
Small Board 17 – 208. Goncalo Alves, Black Walnut, Jatoba, Honey Locust & Cherry. 8″ x 11″ x 1″.
“We have a big family,” they said.
I love doing special orders for people, so they get exactly what they want. This lady wanted a Lazy Susan.
A big Lazy Susan.
So, that’s what she got.
This Susan is 30″ across. It actually took me 6 glue-ups after a couple of mistakes that had to be fixed. The woods used are Black Walnut, Yellowheart, Hard Maple, Cherry & Purpleheart. And, as you may have surmised from seeing the pictures, this was a chaos Lazy Susan.
However, the story doesn’t end there. Since this is a really, really big Susan, I had to make a really, really big square to cut the circle out of. And, when you cut out a big circle, you leave big corners behind … and these were big enough, I just had to do something with them. In my latest batch of boards, this new cheese board was the one that everyone commented on, as it’s a new style for me.
“Make more, make more!” they all said.
Now if I can just find someone that wants to buy several large Lazy Susans….
Lazy Susan 17 – 01. Black Walnut, Yellowheart, Cherry, Hard Maple & Purpleheart. 30″ diameter. Commissioned piece.
Here’s the Susan with 12″ steel rules included in the picture to give the size of the piece some perspective.
Sometimes the need for inspiration propels the ability to have it. Doing things differently can be a very good thing!
Cheese Board 17 – 315. Purpleheart, Hard Maple, Cherry, Black Walnut & Yellowheart. Chaos board. 11″ x 11″ x 3/4″.
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia is one of the most visited refuges in the United States, providing visitors with opportunities to enjoy wildlands and wildlife. The refuge includes more than 14,000 acres of beaches, dunes, marsh and maritime forest. Established in 1943 for migratory birds, the refuge today provides habitat for amazing plants and wildlife – including the famous Chincoteague ponies. Photo of Swan Cove by Ben Spires. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 2/9/17.
A White-tailed Jackrabbit sits still to avoid predators while blending into the snowscape. Photo taken at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge by by Tom Koerner, USFWS. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 2/20/17.
As we approach our first event in 2017, it’s time to share some thoughts about kindness. I know producers & customers alike are eagerly awaiting my opinions on this subject.
- Producers: if you give me 2 hours to set up, then please give me 2 hours to tear down. Putting more pressure on me doesn’t make it go back into the trailer any faster.
- Customers: if it’s raining, don’t let your rain gear sprinkle rain onto my glass-smooth wax finishes, or else they won’t be.
- Producers: I’ll arrive at the beginning time you set for vendors to arrive & set up. Please be ready for me.
- Customers: I’m always OK for you to take pictures of my work, but always appreciate it when you ask. I know some vendors are a bit more private (which strikes me as odd, but waddayagunnado?).
- Producers: I actually read everything you send me and will follow the rules as I understand them. If you don’t know what you sent me and don’t intend to follow your own rules, I will be frustrated. And I will tell you that, on the spot.
- Customers: don’t assume you’re the smartest one in the booth. You may not like the products offered; that’s fine. However, just because you don’t like them doesn’t mean you can lecture the vendor on what they have done wrong (both Mrs M and I have received such lectures about our handmade products). (And the lectures were not from the smartest person in the booth – ed. note)
- Producers: please give me a street address to drive to your vendor entry/check-in location. Be GPS friendly. If I have never been to your event before, and I’m not local, then I don’t know where “Smith Park” is. And, if I’m not local, I don’t know from which direction to approach the gate/nice person with the clipboard in order to smoothly enter your event space.
- Customers: if you’re standing in my booth, or in front of my booth, or beside my booth … you should be looking at my merchandise and, hopefully, thinking about buying something. If you’re blocking access to my booth while loitering for an extended time, that’s rude. If you’re standing in the shade of my awning without allowing my customers to enjoy that shade, that’s a problem for me. If you’re a dog walker, who’s run into your good friend the dog walker, or you’ve got a baby stroller … then the blockade you’ve put in front of my booth might be several feet across. Please be considerate of your immense size in such circumstances.
- Producers: customers ask me all sorts of things, like where the bathrooms are, what the entertainment schedule is, and where they can find whatever they might be looking for. If you give me a map, list of events & vendors & such, I’ll help them. Otherwise, I’ll tell them that the producers kept that information secret from us. You choose which response you’d like.
- Customers: if we’re past closing time, I’m packing up. Many events promise fines – and banishment – if I sell you something after closing time. I’m definitely on a clock to pack up and get out so everyone can go home. Please accept my business card and visit my website, as I don’t have time to talk to you when I have to pack.
- Producers: you need to control the unloading and loading processes. Some producers are oh-so-controlling, and others are totally laissez-faire. What you should do is enforce the rules that you publish, and in all cases provide for public safety. When cars are driving in, baby strollers are pushing through and kids on skate boards are dodging around everything … well, my prayers may not be enough to save everyone from harm, I fear.
- Customers: if you’re paying in cash (thank you!), please hand me flattened, relatively wrinkle-free bills. The women that hand me wadded up bills (and it has always been a woman that does this in my experience) are not my favorites. And yes, I will take the time to smooth out each bill to make sure I know what it is AND make sure it will go into the cash drawer before I will accept it.
- Producers: you are renting me space for a day or two, and I thank you for that. Your job is to make sure I stay within that space, and I respect that. Your job is also to make sure other vendors stay within their allotted space, and I will expect you to do that job as well. It’s why you get paid the big bucks. If your approach is to make me enforce your rules upon my neighbors, then many people will be frustrated by the experience. Including you.
Vendors: yes, you also need to follow the rules about how you set up, how much space you get, how you unload and load back up. Please be considerate: life is far too short to “accidentally” take advantage of others just so you can make a buck or get home a few minutes earlier.
Speaking for myself, I’m here for the joy of conversation, the pleasure of sharing my creations, and to spend a pleasant day or two outdoors. Most of the time, that’s exactly what I get, and I thank all of you for that!
Belleville News Democrat: How Customers Should Treat Craft Fair Vendors
Even in cold weather, you can explore the Rocky Mountain National Park’s spectacular mountain environments by snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, sledding and wildlife watching. In fact, winter is an especially good time to look for elk, mule deer, moose and other large mammals. Sunrise photo of Dream Lake in 2014 by C. Brindle, National Park Service. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 1/17/17.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Hiking to Ouzel Falls
Prettier Than Fireworks
The Snow In The Pines