Thoughts, complaints, and loquacious ramblings.

23 June 2022

Cities are strange places, this one more than most. I’ve never before felt so denatured.

My last full week in California comes to a close on sunday. The project which took me here is nearly complete, though today my arm isn’t much use. I have the time to rest, but inactivity is my least favorite pass time.

Nothing has felt fully real since I dry docked Elias on the second. I’m far outside my normal spaces, both physical and psychological, and far far from my normal routines. Today is the first I’ve thought of thinking ahead by more than a day. It seems two and a half weeks is how long it takes me to get to know a place well enough not to be overwhelmed by it.

For all the declarations of what LA is, all the erroneous and inaccurate suppositions about its culture and geography, no one talks about the light. It hits differently, here. It’s sharper, it fades more slowly. It’s beautiful, but I haven’t fully slept for twenty days.

But, for nineteen of them, I avoided the majority of my arthritis. Having done so through nearly three weeks of almost exclusive hand tool use ain’t half bad.

Thoughts, complaints, and loquacious ramblings.

28 march 2022

I have Elias back, but also random untreatable ailments. This time, it’s a perpetually elevated heart rate that has me constantly exhausted. Hands are shaking so much that fine work is near impossible. I’ve found, however, that the rate doesn’t go up much more when lifting heavy things, nor does avoiding coffee seem to help, so I figure with passing out to rely on as a fuse, I’ll be finishing up all the big stuff moving while propping myself up on gallons of espresso.

There isn’t a lot left in the old dungeon studio to move, anyhow. My go to table saw, which I’ve since replaced with a much older unit. My scroll saw, which, while still fun, has lost a lot of its allure when contrasted with the gigantic bandsaw. A lot of machine parts and materials that I’ll need, but until I decide on cabinetry, then design, build, and install said cabinetry, there’s no rush. Just lots of small and medium bits to make necessary lots of little trips. Getting there, though.

My goal for the first quarter was to complete my two large standing commissions and get functionally moved into the studio. First commission’s done, second one was delayed by Elias’s six week long convalescence and issues with the client’s other contractors, but is moving on, now. Power is still a big issue in the shop, but with spring coming, I won’t need the heater, which frees up a few more amps to hold me over until the new line comes in. Counter to my normal inclination, I’ll count this as a success.

Speaking of spring, I’ve gone through my bags of seeds and my scattered horticultural supplies. By the end of april, I mean to have a miniature herb garden outside the studio.

I’m so excited for the growing season. I haven’t been able to garden since my roommates occurred. I’ve managed to keep a handful of herbs and succulents alive indoors over the past two years and I can’t wait to get them outside and let them grow more fully into their potentials.

I’ve got six avocado stones sprouted. I’ve been playing with designs for avocado rafts and planters, but I won’t really have an idea of what I like until I get some leaves.

I missed horticulture so incredibly much. I can’t wait to get back into it.

Thoughts, complaints, and loquacious ramblings.

4 feb 2022

Been in a bit of an active slump.

I spent most of jan moving into the new shop in Halifax.  

It’s nice to (almost) have my own space, one where I can flip pieces without hitting asbestos covered pipes or dust covered walls.  The new place is an outbuilding garage, so it’s easy to offload tools and auction junk into.  There’s 220 power, which I’ll eventually have to share, but for now it’s all mine, and later there my be a way to split it or run two lines, as the house already has additional 220 hookups.

The not so nice: there’s no heat.  I like the cold.  I really do.  I never mind shivering and usually wear t-shirts in the winter, but I’ve come to a point I never could have imagined: the thought of the cold studio actually makes me less interested in making the commute.  Which is half an hour over a mountain, or forty minutes around it.  My landlords loaned me two heaters, one which runs on 220 and one that runs on propane. I ran the propane heater for a bit, before a friend forced me to research it and I came across the multiple warnings against indoor use (specifically citing garages as no-nos, as if the article knew!) The 220 works, but it takes up all my amps, and if you’ve followed my Instagram of late, you’ll know my meaning of “works.” Despite the fairly beefy, if aged fuse panel inside the garage, what feeds it are a pair of 20 amp breakers.

So, for now, I have the same power constraints, plus cold driven lethargy, and a half hour commute in place of an asbestos dungeon.  And you know what?  It’s worth it.

I like my new place.  I like driving past the Appalachian Trail twice a day.  I like being able to fit professional tools into my workspace and I especially like not having to take them up or down stairs.

The place isn’t perfect, but what it is, is mutable.  The landlords and I are going to be improving the space.  More power, more light, and something I never thought I’d be excited for: heat.

I’m looking forward to growing into the space and for it to grow into the kind of making space I’ve always fantasized about.  I hope you’ll join me for the journey.

Thoughts, complaints, and loquacious ramblings.

Update – 1 March 2021

Getting back into the studio has been a huge relief after laying low for most of the winter.

Last november, I bought a 93 Ford Ranger at auction. It looked great in the pictures, but the frame was so rusted the first mechanic I took it to asked me to sign a waiver to drive it home.

A few weeks after, while waiting for my checking account to recover so I could start Ranger repairs, a flying SUV wheel jumped over a hill and totalled the CARDIS. I was fine, but the Suzuki seemed to dissolve around me.

Another few weeks, and I dipped into savings to buy a 93 Dakota. I’d had pipe dreams of learning car repair by doing a full frame swap of the Ranger, but the reality was: I didn’t have the space, tools, or yet the ability to do that on my own. I needed some sort of vehicle for hauling the salvaged wood, metal, and plastics I build all my work from, and the Dakota was what was available. That was about a month and a half ago, and thus far, I’ve been able to learn car repairs faster than it’s been falling apart.

All that to say, I haven’t had much time to get into the studio, and when I have been able to, I haven’t had the energy for photography.

But, barring unforseen destruction, I should be back. I’ve cleaned up and rearranged the studio, set up some new old tools, and started down the path of turning. By summer I expect to have quite a few new kinds of hollow-forms within my making abilities.

Looking forward to spring and plants and the potential of open air art markets.

Can’t wait.

Thoughts, complaints, and loquacious ramblings.

New Pages

As I slowly work to pull the website together, I’ll be adding new pages to the menu.

The first will be a wishlist and work trade page where you can go to see what sort of things I’m looking for and, with any luck, something you’re looking for, too. Let’s work together to get you the goods you want and get me the tools I need to make them!