Walks and thoughts

Don’t neglect quiet times walking in the woods or the park near your work. Even on weekends in the woodshop it’s always good to connect with the wood in its rawest state.

Walking through woodlands may seem the same as the UK but everything is indeed very different. The birds may be a like species; tree creepers, nuthatches, chickadee and tufted titmice, but they are coloured very differently that the UK and European versions. I had the wrong lenses on my camera but still the record was valuable for reminding me just how diverse life on two continents can really be. Bluebirds don’t exist as such in the UK and so I have missed seeing their vivid blue flashes across my pathway. A pair lives just below my apartment here in town. I think that they are quite lovely birds. I wrote a poem years ago about them. I will dig it out and post it some time.

Reacquaint yourself with the raw stock

The trees are not so easy for me to distinguish here as they are in my home country. But I can;t help wondering with every tree what surprising grain lies insode and what can be made from a single tree.

It snowed a little last night with more snow promised for the weekend. It slows me down on my walk as recovery is slower from slippage than when I was 10 years old. The pond in front of the new New Legacy School of Woodworking here in New York is frozen deeply now. it looks lovely. I am sure it will have well thawed by the time we have our first April workshop.

Peaceful walks still the disquiet and set a pattern for peace

Walking by the weeping willows I ask myself if the tears freeze on each suspended twig or the dryness of frozen climes absorbs the tears beforehand.  I’m reminded of a basket weaver I met in the UK who weaves willow baskets day in and day out. I would like to see an honest basket weaver making baskets on the empty front porches of some of the houses; and the decorator brooms sweeping real waste twigs from the boardwalk as in days past. Those were the days when people didn’t mind being known as workmen and women. Humble, simple, but not simplistic. Honest work in a creative sphere that no longer exists except in conjured images for movies and magazines.

History recorded

Here the logs tell me of growth aspects over the past 40 years. I was 22 when this seedling sprouted and my daughter Eleanor was born that year.

I see no canopied growth and records of history in each growth cycle show quite rapid and consistent growth. I sit to watch the sun melt the snow for a while and then walk on to the woodshop past the sawmill. Millers seem to be holding their own against the Georgia Pacific giants as they run their Woodmizer Mobile sawmills and their Mobile Dimension Saws Powered by a VW beetle engine. I hope that we can all hold out instead of sell out. Saw millers and furniture makers don’t look right stacking shelves in Walmart somehow. It makes me more intent on the Real Woodworking Campaign. Joseph and I have been talking about the next step on that front so we will be letting you know what we hope to do to get more things cooking.

Timber framing has a certain peace and rest about the order of it

I worked on my new US tool box in the afternoon and enjoyed being back in the shop. I looked up at the timber-framing and the newly pine-clad walls. The wooden floor is down now and soon, after the internal construction work is done, we will level, sand and finish it smooth.

My creative workspace NY

Soon I will be able to set up proper and I am arranging for my tools to come in. I have two sets; one in the US and one in the UK. I haven’t seen my US set for three years. Many if not most of these are friends from my apprenticeship, which I bought from my very small wages as a 15-year old.