Have you ever wanted to share something with the world, but you’ve worried how it would be received? I want to tell you how I found inspiration in an unlikely source and overcame that fear of putting myself out there.
The Day I Went from Father to Fan
It’s not too often that your 5-year-old son shows you the way, but recently, Jacob started down the path I had been looking at for years, and I followed! Jacob’s artwork was selected as one of the representatives of the Kindergarten class to be shown in the district-wide art show earlier this spring.
His excitement when we found his piece was undeniable. He grabbed my hand, yelled to Becky and Nolan, and ran over to show us what he had created. It was definitely one of those moments as a parent you would love to take credit for and say, “man, we are raising him the right way,” but this moment was all his. That spring in his step, the ear-to-ear smile on his face, the pride you could feel radiating off of him, were completely his and his alone.
Jacob beat me to showcasing his skill as an artist, and I couldn’t have been prouder.
From Fan to Craftsman
Those of you who know me know I love to spend as much time as humanly possible outdoors, especially in the woods. It makes me feel alive, slows down the pace of my life, and reminds me of family. Nature has me completely in awe even at this point in my life, and I have always wanted to share that feeling with others.
Because we cut our own wood, I often come across pieces that talk to me with their natural beauty and wonder. Mother Nature has always been beautiful, but there is very little she does without reason or function, and I hope our woodworking items mimic that, combining beauty and function. In short, I hope to capture the warmth, serenity, and tranquility that the woods bring me and allow you to bring it into your home to share with friends, family, and guests.
From Craftsman to Showman
Just about the same time that Jacob was beaming in front of his artwork, a colleague sent an email about a summer exhibit she wanted to create about our staff in one of the building’s galleries. The email asked for artists, bookbinders, cartoonists, crafters, quilters, and “any other makers I may have missed ….”. I might have been “missed,” but I was more than willing to run out of my office and scream, “I make stuff! Can I be in your exhibition?”
The blinding beam from Jacob’s smile and this call for makers were the last little push I needed to pick up the sandpaper and finish many of the projects strewn across my workbench. On June 19, “Shadow of the Towers” and “Lightning Struck” were placed on display with many other fine works from fellow makers at the TWC Makers exhibit at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).
“Shadow of the Towers” is made of tulip poplar found in my father’s woodpile while helping him split wood on a Christmas visit in late 2015. “Lightning Struck” is made from a Norway maple that needed to be removed from our back yard after being struck quite severely by lightning.
From Showman to Salesman
With the homestead workshop still MAJORLY under construction… Okay, in all honesty we are somewhere between keeping it from falling down and using it to do projects. I have begged and begged Becky to let me keep storing them all over the house, but this is where my salesmanship fell short. It was time to display our woodworking, so why not start with local shops that we know and love?
Our area is known for small consignment shops, handcrafted items, antiques, and a growing number of craft breweries, but none of them could compare to a local shop that I knew would be perfect for our goods.
Lavender Moon is a delightful shop run by the Tiberio family. The wonderful smell of herbs and tea when you walk in, the feel of the old barn it is in, all take you back to a time when life seemed simple. Not only does the shop make you feel nostalgic, warm, and welcome, but they sell many of the items you should be using to slow down, take care of yourself, and relax. They have essential oils, bath fizzies, soaps, and tinctures, and I think I could write a whole post on the effectiveness of their all-natural bug spray! (I may not be as good looking as I think I am, but one thing I know for sure is that mosquitoes think I am Brad Pitt in a pair of boxers!)
The feeling I get when visiting the shop is the same feeling I am trying to capture when carving a bowl, spoon, or stein, making it a perfect fit. Knowing Nadine, the lovely daughter of the owners, from her time as a student, she was also the perfect person for me to ask about displaying and selling some of my work. She happily agreed, and we currently have two bowls on display in their shop.
Please stop and see them at Lavender Moon, located on the corner of Boughton Hill and Quaker Meeting House Road in the charming village of Honeoye Falls, NY. If it continues to rain like it has all summer, I recommend sipping a warming cup of their tea while you peruse their all-natural products.