Wood Cache

As often happens in life, opportunity finds you. It’s what you do with that opportunity that makes the difference.

While manning our booth at the Pendleton Farmer’s Market a few weeks ago a gentleman can by who was a retired wood worker. Seems he sold his products at the farmer’s market in nearby Walla Walla for many years but had to stop when he had to have several vertebra in his back fused and could no longer stand at the lathe for hours as needed.

Would we be interested in all the burls he had collected to make bowls, etc., out of? Well, YES we would. Fast forward to last weekend and here are the results of that opportunity! There are 6 totes of burls, small to large, 24 boxes of bottle stopper blanks, box blanks, and some salt and pepper mill blanks.

Look for new products to come from these in the next few weeks.

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Should we?

Vacations are wonderful. They fill you with renewed energy, refresh your point of view and make life seem wonderful again. Then reality hits and you realize that all the great ideas that came from the vacation are more than you could ever accomplish in your life time!

One of the ideas we had thrown at us was to create a YouTube channel that showed people new to wood work, or those with some experience, how to do various projects. While I’m pretty decent at wood work, I have serious doubts about my online personality and my ability to entice anyone to watch videos of me making anything.

That being said, I’m open to the idea if enough people think it would be something they would want to watch. What say all of you? Would you watch a want-to-be like me attempt to teach others how to do various projects? If so, please comment here and we will pursue the concept in more detail.

While you are thinking about your answer, take a look at these roughed out spoons!

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Simple Things

Simple things sometimes lead to something far more complicated. That has been the case with the cutouts I started doing for Oregon (other states on request). A friend in MT was doing something like this for his state and told me he was okay with me using the idea for Oregon. In return I’ll send requests for MT to him because that’s what friends do.

The complicated part comes when I start trying to make variations on a theme and use different materials for the inserts. The rusty metal has been a hit in the large cutouts, and I have now added it to the mid size as well. Scaling down is easy, scaling up is proving more difficult. I want to add chalkboard to the bigger cutout, but the opening is bigger than the boards I can get currently. Same issue with the mirrors that I have, too small, and the cutouts being contoured on the end makes it impossible for me to cut them to shape.

Yep, I see a design change in the future so I can make straight cuts and still be able to put mirror on the larger cutouts. Chalkboard paint and hard board will solve the problem with the larger cutouts in that respect.

We have also been asked if we make a full US map, so will have to look in to that as well, but that will mean the states must be much smaller or the person will need a Very big wall!

For now, enjoy these; let me know if you would like to have one for your wall and look for a new design in the near future.

Oregon cutouts 6-10-18

New items

We are working hard to add more items to our product line and keep up with orders. To that end I have added a few log boxes, finished some cribbage boards from Juniper logs and Lynn is weaving rugs like mad!

Evenings are now spent out in the shop or in front of the loom and we are moving forward with the new logo. Once the logo is done will be getting banner for the booth and printing up some business cards that don’t come off our own printer.

Here is a sample of the newest items:

 

High standards

I have heard it my whole life, you must have high standards if you want your work to count for anything. If your work does not meet the high standards than it has no value, etc…

The thing that is not told to you is who sets those standards? Or even what does “high standards” mean? Does your work have to be “qualified” to be in the Smithsonian? Or is the standard set by the person that purchases your work? And if that’s the case, how would you know what those standards are before you met that person?

Beyond that, artists are always their own worst critic and the standards they set are often higher than anyone else would ask of them.

It’s also what often stops us from starting or finishing a project(s). We work on a project until it gets to a point of either needing just a bit more work to finish, but is not quite what we envisioned, or until we reach a point that pushes us out of our comfort zone. That’s the case with the two hollow log coffee tables currently on my work bench. They are nearly done, but I find myself putting off finishing them because they are not quite to the standard I had in my mind when I started on them. That’s not to say they can’t be, but that I am having trouble getting them to the standard I want.

Standing back and looking at them and writing this blog post has helped and I think I now know how I’ll finish them. It’s just a matter of making the time to get them done and I’ll soon have them on the market. Keep checking back here for photos of the finial products.

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Sometimes

I guess what they say is true; sometimes the best way to move forward is to stand still for a bit. While we didn’t exactly stand still last weekend, we did take a break from making anything new. Well I did, Lynn used the time to make a couple more rugs on her loom.

I spent time helping our OHV club put on our annual fund raising ride. 300+ riders of all ages from babies with their mothers to at least one that I’m sure was pushing 70, they all had fun and that means we were successful in what we set out to do!

This week it’s back to the day job and working on getting the table coverings complete and checking inventory, price tags, all the things that will make the farmer’s market next week. The list seems endless, but we all know the only way to make it not so, is to work on one item at a time until you reach the end.

The items on the “get them done” list have not changed this week, and those on the “get them started” have only grown by a couple. The “new designs” list has also grown by a couple items, now it’s time to start working on at least one of those items.

Enjoy your week; I know we will enjoy ours! And remember, sometimes the fastest way forward is to stop for just a bit.

Let the fun begin!

Well the fun is about to get underway. We have signed up for both the Pendleton and the La Grade farmer’s markets this year so will be setting up on Friday afternoons in Pendleton and Saturdays in La Grande.

Where will this lead? We don’t really know, but it’s a start and perhaps a way to get Galloway Artisans better known by both the local community and those passing through that may have other suggestions for places to sell or they will place orders for different items.

Here are just a few of the items we will be putting up for sale at these two places, if you know of someone interested, send them down, or just have them contact us directly here: GallowayArt@rockrabbitenterprises.com  

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New product line

We are starting a new product line that utilizes reclaimed wood from several sources. These products will mainly be home décor/ furniture related items such as the Juniper log end table showcased below. The table in the photos is just over 15 inches tall and approximately 12 inches in diameter.

Look for more items to be posted in the coming weeks as items are completed. If you are interested in any of these items or would like a custom piece, please contact us at GallowayArt@rockrabbitenterprises.com

 Glamorous versus real life

I know that everyone wants to see fantastic, fully finished products that we here at Galloway Artisans are making, but the reality of that is, we don’t always get projects finished every week.

A lot of the projects we do require many weeks of work or weather conditions that allow us to finish when it’s warm, something that is getting closer all the time with spring arriving, but has not quite arrived yet.

Gathering raw supplies also takes time, as the recent pile of fence boards will attest. The fence was between us and the storage units next door. Rotten posts were causing the fence to fall down and it was obvious something needed to be done. Since it was not our fence, but it did separate our property from them the owner talked to us and wanted to know if we would take the fence down and he would have a crew come in and put up a new fence (chain link.. yuck). If we took it down we could have all the boards.

After agreeing to that, I started the process, an hour or two over a couple evenings and figured I’d finish up on Saturday… 350 fence boards later, and the upright boards were done. Saturday evening I dropped the 2×6 and a few 2x4s to the ground and called it a night.

During the night I started thinking, now would be the best time to take the dead pine tree down that was between our shop and the storage unit since there was no fence to worry about hitting. An early morning call to my Brother in law and soon the tree was on the ground, as was another dead pine that had to fall in our yard. As anyone that cuts trees knows, the getting it down is the easy part. It’s the clean up that takes time!

So now we are into late Sunday afternoon, and I’m wiped out! This is really close to hard physical labor… Did I mention that I also had to move the firewood away from the fence, all the 32 AA Ford parts, and a few flat fender Jeep parts?

Still, here we are on Monday morning and you are all waiting on a new blog post of what we have “finished” over the last week…. Besides the boards you saw above, we also have 2 pine logs 12’ 6” long that we will be taking to our friend with the mill in the next week or two, so will have some great blued pine boards as well.

All is not glamorous as it seems and sometimes it’s hard work to just keep ourselves in the raw materials needed to make the fantastic finished pieces you all long to see. We will work harder to have more to show you next week that’s Not raw materials.

Time Management

Time is a factor for all of us, in our jobs, in our free time, in life. With orders piling up for Llama Hardware (my “day” job), and trying to work on projects for Galloway Artisans so I can do either farmer’s markets or art shows I really need to be working more hours.

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That said, I’m sure there is some sort of mind altering machine that exists in our couch. It seems that the second my behind hits the couch; I’m there for the rest of the evening and never make it out to the shop! (Yes, we each on the couch).

To help get myself past that I have started making project lists so that when I do get in the shop I am not overwhelmed with the 12 projects that are on the board or the 4-5 that are in the works, but can just start on the ONE that is on top of the list.

I’ll let you know how that works out next week when I update the blog once again.