Nashville Hangout & Dewalt Expo | Vlog 2


It's been a crazy month and a half--Okahoma, New York, Ohio, and Nashville. But I got to hang out with some of my favorite people: Johnny Brooke(Crafted Workshop), Jimmy Diresta, Bob Clagget(I like to make stuff), David Picciuto(Make something), Brad Rodriguez(Fix this build that.)

Anyway, I thought it was time for a shop update, to let everyone know what I've been up to as well as what is in store for the future. I'd love to hear your feedback, and thanks for watching!

Designer spotlight #5: Tapio Wirkkala | Blog

Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985)

First off, you can tell this guy is awesome just by looking at him--he reminds me of a Finnish Ron Swanson. 

Anyway, on to the man himself. As most of the information pertaining to Tapio is in Finnish it was a bit difficult to find some particular details, but it seems that much of his initial success was in his glasswares--the discipline to which he is still most associated. Yet, what I find most fascinating about the man was his diversity; he had his hands in nearly everything: glass, furniture, porcelain, metal, plastics, graphics, sculpture, art, city planning,  and probably anything else you can imagine--including axes?!

According to Wirkkala was "recluse by nature":

His favorite place was a spot so remote within the deep woodlands of middle Finland that helicopters delivered prototypes to his hut since no car could reach him. It was in nature that he found his much loved solitude and the inspiration for forms that industry could produce or artwork could create.

(Remember the Ron Swanson reference earlier?)

On to some of the work I selected to highlight. It's not often I get to search for common design elements in everything from whiskey glasses, to tables and sculptural pieces, so this was definitely an interesting spotlight.

I would think it would be safest to classify Tapio Wirkkala as a modernist designer. Most of his pieces exhibit clean lines, geometric forms, and some semblance of minimalism.

Google Images - Tapio Wirkkala

Designer spotlight #1: Achille Castiglioni | Blog

Achille Castiglioni(1918-2002): Achillie Castiglioni was an Italian designer who studied architecture in Milan.  Achille is perhaps best known for his famous "Arco Lamp" of 1962.

Inspired by street lights, the Arco Lamp was designed as an alternative solution to wall or ceiling lights for  bringing illumination to the dining table. The base consisted of a very heavy(I've seen pictures of people hanging from the arc!) piece of marble. The Arco lamp had an enormous impact on  contemporary design, and has served as the basis for countless reproductions and knock-offs.

Although he may be most known for the Arco Lamp, many of his other designs are equally impressive. My personal favorite is his rotating shelf, which can be adjusted to fit in a variety of spaces.  Achille is definitely worth of some google image searching!

When design really works - Susie Hodge
Achillie Castiglioni - Wikipedia

Well, the holidays have been crazy for me this year. It seems like the older you get the more stressful things become around this time of year; travel, families, children, more traveling, more families and more children. I don't meant to place a negative spin on it, it's just--well you know what I'm talking about.

So, although 2017 is slated to be a big year for me, it's going to be hard to top 2016. 
2016 involved moving across the country from Portland, Oregon, to New Port Richey, Florida,  setting up a fully functioning workshop and the first taste of being 100% self-employed.  
But, the future appears to be equally bright as I get to focus on developing all aspects of my business. And I'll finally get to spend more time with my wife now that my schedule is in my hands.

This is a slight departure from my typical ramblings, but I have big plans for 2017 (including at least 1 blog entry per week--for real, I promise!), but I felt the need to cast some light upon the past and future of my.--umm, life.

One last thought, if you were to tell me one year ago what I would be doing this very moment, I would not have believed it, it's incredible how fast your life can change. So whatever it is you want--stick with it, make it happen!


Crafting a podcast | Blog

I apologize for the bit of hiatus with the blog. I've had so many irons in the fire so to speak I've had to place it on the back burner.

So whats new? Quite a bit, primarily I'm co-hosting a new podcast entitled the "Crafted Podcast" along with Johnny from The Crafted Workshop and James Wright from Wood by right. The idea behind this podcast is to discuss a broad range of subjects as they relate to making and craftsmanship in general. Some of our future topics are to include, metal, leather, the creative process, transitioning into making for money, etc.

As of today we have recorded 3 episodes and released 2, and are already holding position in the top 10 hobby podcasts on iTunes! We live stream every Thursday at 8pm Eastern time, and we feature an interactive chat where you can ask questions and interact with us during the show.

Here is a link to the site:


Dreaming in color | Blog

I'm not sure if it's a blessing of a curse, but it seems I never have the time to satiate my curiosity. Recently I've been intrigued with color theory, and trying to figure out how I can work it into some of my future projects. There are so many techniques and strategies that are nothing short of fascinating. Even the simple ways of breaking up the color wheel for example: there is complementary(opposites on the wheel), analogous(adjacent), triadic(triangular), just to name a few. Every combination seems to elicit a unique vibe. It's all just very--interesting, and I'd like to experiment if I ever get a break from these commissioned projects(I'm not complaining).

I find this dresser by Wendy Maruyama to be an interesting albeit festive execution of a complimentary color piece.

If this stuff interests you, here is a site that explains things nicely.

Smooth as mutton tallow | Blog

If you've been following my Instagram you will have noticed that I've been building a Nicholson style workbench. I spent the better part of 3 hours flattening the top and bottom sides of the workbench top, well, I had heard from some old-timers who swear by "McQueens pure mutton tallow" for lubricicity(I'm making this a word) as well as rust prevention. They are definitely on to something, The difference between this and wax is night and day, I was completely amazed. Anyway you can snag this stuff on amazon--here's the link: Mcqueen's pure mutton tallow.

A new beginning | Blog

Regarding the last entry, well things didn't go quite as planned, I was convinced to maintain minimal hours at my job, but all is well. I feel like having some sort of mandatory schedule may help me to keep things in perspective. On another note the Nicholson workbench build is moving along nicely, I have the legs and aprons finished, next I tackle the top. 

If you are interested in the plans, I have a downloadable sketchup model on my "Store" Page.

If you are considering building a workbench of your own, I highly recommend Christopher Schwarz's book: Workbenches : From design & theory to construction and use.

1k subscribers & shop talk! | Vlog

I apologize in advance for my on-camera awkwardness-- I'm hoping to get better with time.

Alright, so I figured I ought to put out a little something regarding breaking 1k subscribers recently. Thanks again, you guys are an ongoing source of inspiration, and I'd love to hear from you!

BTW, no planes were harmed in the making of this video, all the blades were fully retracted, and I normally rest them on their sides.

Wood finishing 101 - Bob Flexner
Workbenches - Chris Schwarz