The two questions we are most often asked: "how do you come up with your ideas?" and, "where, or who, do you source this wood from?" The former is for today; the latter for another post.
As the landscape construction career shifted off the tools, into the office and deeper into spreadsheets, it soon became apparent that something was missing -- the tangible, physical products that have always been so essential to my job, and where I have found satisfaction in my career. Perhaps it's no surprise then that Longview Woodworks became more than a creative outlet - going beyond the weekend tinkering, and with a little more time and skill, it is a space to bring new ideas and make them into something at least you can hold in your hand, and I hope you might also find inspiring... I'll settle for amusing.Most days, I get up early, put on a coffee, deal with email and office work as quickly as possible and head down to the shop. Once there, I am surrounded by walls chock full (from floor to ceiling) of slabs of local responsibly sourced Island hardwoods (again, for another day); some are labelled for their future purpose, some are random off-cuts and some are half-done pieces. And that is where I start.
The inspiration always comes from the wood. Taking a slab of Garry oak or chunk of arbutus, I need to pay attention to what it shall become - I long ago learned that I can’t force I piece to be something that it never should be (as I invariably muck it up and end up with another piece for the fireplace). So I sharpen my pencil, pay attention, take a chance, and begin to transform that slab or chunk into something new.
Some may say that a piece of wood has a spirit - it must call to me and tell me what it needs to be. But those who know me, wouldn't believe it (and would never let me get away with pretending that was the case). Nah. Instead, friends and family know that it's been with them in mind, and the enjoyment I find working with wood that has been the impetus. And, for me, what could be better than working with tools, wood and magnets to create pieces that people can use to host or love in their kitchen. Simple enough.