Is it temperament or practice? The matter of inspiration spurred us on last Wednesday at our DESIGN: Open House. Pat Horsley, potter, Greg Wilbur, metalsmith, and Gary Rogowski, furniture maker discussed their own approaches for inspiration. Pat got ideas for pots in the middle of the night and kept a notepad close by to jot [...]


  Where did I leave it? Where can I find it? How do can I make it happen again? Inspiration is seredipitous. Who can say when it will strike? Design, now design is something else. Design takes work and failure and effort and persistence because a design doesn’t usually happen first time out. Even the [...]


I was helping a friend the other day with a little problem he was having. He needed enabling because he was saving tools. Now Karl probably has more tools than me, which is saying something. Karl also probably has more cool old tools than anybody I know. [Well except for the cast iron machinery shrine [...]

The Finish Line

You spend 30 or 300 hours building a piece of furniture and manage to ruin it in 10 minutes by putting on the wrong finish. Don’t worry. If you’re a furniture maker and not a finisher, you’ll probably just try to fix things by putting another finish over the top of the first compounding your [...]


  One of the joys of learning is discovery. I remember what it was like to be new to woodworking. The first few years were a constant period of discovery. Oh you can do this with this tool or you can make this shape with this coffee can or what’s a French curve? Cool. And [...]

Mastery Field Trip Continued

To continue our story about sawing up a white oak log, our Mastery groups were at Mark Azevedo’s in Albany recently. He had made the first cut and next had to move it in position for a second cut. The job of helping Mark roll the log fell to Paterson, one of our Distance Mastery [...]

Mastery Field Trips

Last week our second year Distance group and our first year Local Mastery students combined for a field trip. We had the opportunity to visit the amazing Mark Azevedo down on the Kenagy Farm in Albany. This is such a treat for everyone and has been for years ever since Mark first invited me down [...]


I was walking the beagle this morning and I heard someone practicing violin in their house as we walked by. The player wasn’t new at it, but neither was he all that proficient. He was learning and repeating his scales. I’m no musician so I cannot say what kind of scale it was, but I [...]