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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Promote independent craftspeople visit
and get to know CustomMade

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New site is alive, it's alliiivve!

Dammit Jim, I’m a woodworker not a web designer!
It was a bit of a slog, I work with wood boards not keyboards, but it got done. I want to give a big endorsement to CoffeeCup their software made this project much easier. Check them out at
The new site has a lot of new pictures and is much easier to navigate. Please send me any feedback you may have.

Friday, September 9, 2011

In Pursuit of Excellence

I’m going to start by apologising for this sounding so conceited; I hope my point comes across OK.
I am trying to finish my most recent commission, I told myself I would finish today. Did I? No way. Why? Design tweaking. In my desire to create something fresh for my clients I try not to give the same design over and over again. I won’t recreate the wheel but little touches keep things interesting, (and to be honest keeps me from getting bored). So far, so good right.
Here’s where it gets sticky.
Trying to keep a deadline and stay on budget is not that easy to do when you are constantly making changes to your designs. You may end up using more materials than you anticipated; you will most definitely spend more time than you did. Now of course one must develop their designs, but as the wise man said, there is a time and a place for everything. The time is not when you are in the middle of a project.
What to do?
If inspiration hits you while working on something, keep a notepad handy and jot down your idea. Then when your project is done (on time and on budget) you can tweak the design on paper at your leisure and test it out in the shop when you have some free time (what is that?).
Hope this helps ;-)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happy Labor Day everyone! It's BBQ time :-)
Next week back to work with new designs and pictures, maybe even a How-To video.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What's the difference between art and craft?

What’s the difference between art & craft?
It's not an easy question to answer.

I recently read some very interesting comments made by veterans of the craft community on this and other topics.

One of the ideas that struck me was that craft served a purpose. Somehow the utilitarian in me likes that idea. Don't get me wrong, I admire fine art as much as the next guy (I even studied it in college) but the thought of people using and enjoying the fruit of my labours for decades to come gives me a great sense of pride and satisfaction. The idea that somehow your spirit, energy or chi flows into the work you produce is one that I firmly believe in. Just think about curling up in the solid wood rocking chair that was custom made for you by a craftsperson vs. a mass, factory produced model you had to put together yourself with an Allen key! You know which one is going to end up at the end of a driveway in a couple of years.

Another thought that was expressed, which was has always been a pet peeve of mine, is how craft work is undervalued in the marketplace. Compared to the aforementioned field fine art, the field of craft rarely gets the same kind of attention. The work of great woodworkers like, George Nakashima, James Krenov and Sam Maloof command high valuations, and rightly so. However even their work does not sell for nearly as much as their contemporaries in the fine art world. The point was, as craftspeople are we doing enough to increase the public’s awareness of the role handmade pieces of “useable art” play in our society. Are we putting our heart and soul into our work and into expanding our creativity or are we letting the market dictate the extents to which we will go to deliver the best product we can.

I for one hope that this conversation continues, and that we as a society learn to appreciate craftsmanship and quality over cheap consumption.
New MissionPics on the Blog and site. Hope you like them.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hey everyone, happy Sunday! Here's a question. How do you overcome a design block? You know like writer's block, but for designer/builders.