John on crutches heading to the workshop in a snow storm
Crutches make the commute challenging!
Monday, March 31, 2014

The Challenging Winter Commute

I never thought the business of custom furniture making would be so treacherous! Sadly, I sprained my ankle the other day leaving my workshop. I was wearing my Dansko "Man Clogs" (my children's name for those ugly things) - which are great for standing on concrete all day long, but are certainly NOT good running shoes! (I've learned my lesson.) Then the snow started... I spent the first day of the storm with my foot elevated and iced. But with deadlines to be met, I had to get to the workshop on day 2. So my back pack, crutches and I headed out in the storm. I managed to hobble around on the crutches all day and did get some work done. By day 3, I was only using one crutch and by the end of the week, no crutches at all! Hurry up Spring!

Contrast in new Pickwell Sideboard vs. 5 year old Pickwell Dining Table and Chalford Chairs
Monday, March 10, 2014

What A Difference Time Makes in the Natural Aging Process of Cherry

This past weekend, my clients in Stowe received their new Cherry and Maple Pickwell Sideboard to accompany their 5 year old custom, handmade Dining Room Table and Chairs. They were quite surprised to see the difference in the color of the new piece - although beautiful, it looked almost anemic next to the deep, lusterous aged wood of the dining table and chairs. I assured them the natural wood of the new sideboard would age rapidly, and ultimately "catch up" with the gorgeous color of the older pieces. Cherry ages quickly in the first 6 months, and then tends to slow down, although it is impossible to guarantee the new cherry sidebaord will look EXACTLY like the older dining table and chairs - each piece of wood has its own unique grain and characteristics. As stated in Popular Woodworking: "While all wood is in some measure chromophoric (meaning it changes when exposed to light), cherry has a more immediate and noticeable reaction to ultraviolet (UV) light than do most other domestic hardwoods."