Yesterday was the opening of my first woodworking show at Liquidambar Gallery in Pittsboro, NC. The gallery was busy all afternoon, with a constant stream of visitors. I am happy to say that my pieces were very popular! Sales actually began on Saturday, the day before the official opening. In just two days, they have already sold 9 items. The show continues for 2 months, so it would have been nice to have some additional inventory . . . but who knew?
One of the pieces which sold quickly was a little box for storing tea bags. I just finished it recently and hadn’t yet posted a photo.
This box is about 9″ x 9″ x 3″ tall. the sides are walnut, and the top is quilted quartersawn white oak. The handle has a cutout of the Chinese symbol for tea, and is made of padouk and maple. The inside of the box has maple dividers to organize tea bags. This piece was designed to feature the oak top, which is one of the prettiest pieces of wood I have encountered. I made a few earlier attempts to make use of this piece, but this tea box is probably the best fit.
Since this piece went so quickly, I may try to find another distinctive piece of wood to make something similar. But the new owner of this box got something which is truly one of a kind.
There is still a bit more finishing to be done, but I have to let the piece sit for 72 hours before re-coating. So, I took the opportunity to mount the hardware. It will all come back off to continue the finishing process, but everything is measured and the holes are drilled now. Here are a couple of photos of the nearly completed trunk. The piece measures 36″ x 20″ x 18″ tall.
Trunk with Brass Hardware Mounted
Before I could justify moving on from the old style television to a new flat screen, high definition, mega-mega pixel LCD video display, I needed some place to put the home theatre-sized monster. The only spot we realistically could put a large screen was in a corner area that was not conducive to wall mounting. Plus, I still have some component stereo pieces that needed a home, such as a CD jukebox, turntable (?) and an amplifier through which all audio and all video go to provide surround sound for music for anything on the TV. I also knew I wanted to get a Blu-Ray player, and all those electronic boxes need a place. So, this cabinet was my solution. It was designed to hold the electronics, some DVDs and albums, and have a place on top for the TV.
This piece is made from quarter-sawn oak and finished with a slightly darker stain than I had used on any other pieces. Glass doors were incorporated into the design to keep out some of the dust while allowing remote controls to operate all the goodies inside.
I have been making things from wood for about as long as I can remember. I built models of Columbus’ ships for an elementary school project with the help of my father, who had a workshop in the back yard. I spent much of my time growing up in that workshop. My grandfather on my mother’s side was also a woodworker, who had a couple of patents on items he had designed. He also built a violin which I now have. Although he died when I was just 3, perhaps it is from him that I got interested in building musical instruments.
I built this dulcimer in 1973, during summer break from college. I was working at a steel warehouse during the day, and made this during the evenings and weekends. I had a book with some plans to work from – I am not sure I had ever seen a dulcimer up close before.
1973 Dulcimer Headstock
I was amazed when I put strings on it and it actually made a decent sound. I took it back to college, found some friends with guitars, banjos, etc, and we played music in the dorm many nights. Today, I see all the flaws and all the things that I could have improved on. Over the years, my joinery has improved, and my tools today allow for closer tolerances. This dulcimer has a solid Brazilian Rosewood back – wood that is no longer available. Perhaps one day this dulcimer will get a new back and that piece of wood will go into another project.
1973 Dulcimer Back
This dulcimer is now about 39 years old. Hard to believe!