Milestones in life- we all have them. Individually, we learn to walk (as our beautiful niece is working on now!) and we learn to work (like our teenage sons do very well). And we have milestones in relationships – today was our 24th wedding anniversary!
We had a beautiful day walking in the chilly rain enjoying the sights of Dublin – Dublin, Ohio, that is. We dream of making it across the pond one day to see Ireland and Scotland. However, for today, Dublin, Ohio was as close as we could get, and we enjoyed every minute of it.
After spending time with my family this past weekend doing chores together and then enjoying a hike together in the woods, I started thinking about what inspires me.
Nature is certainly inspiring to me! During our hike, I spotted an interesting display of wild grapevines. The way the vines come out of the ground and reach for the sunlight is exactly the kind of scene that prompted several pieces I have made.
The Garden Art Chair has some wild grapevines on it. These elements take stickwork in an interesting direction as the vines have so much more curvature to them than typically found in sticks from trees. I like it!
The Wooing Bench was probably the first piece of stickwork furniture that I made that really incorporated the natural materials with very little alteration. The arched pieces used in the back of this bench were roots that had worked their way to the surface of the ground as the tree above had fallen.
The Hobbit Chair was a small-ish whimsical chair that sprouted from a collection of branches standing together.
The need for relaxation is also inspiring for me. I love making furniture that people use while relaxing: by the firepit, in the garden, next to a lake, or enjoying the company of others.
The Fire Pit Sit series of chairs has been a blast to make! From those with horse’s heads to the very rustic and redneck version, people have loved these little chairs specifically for the fact that they sit low to the ground – the best position by the fire!
Our Stick-a-rondack chairs are based on the well-loved design on the Adirondack chair. Whether enjoying a relaxing moment in the summer breeze, or watching over the lake, or sitting around a fire, these chairs are a perpetual favorite.
One of the reasons we love getting custom orders for our handcrafted stickwork furniture is that we really enjoy creating pieces that are unique ideas from our customers. One such order was a set of 6 bar chairs for a family with 6 kids. The chairs were for the eating bar in their kitchen. Because of the natural materials we use, each chair was unique, making it easy for each child to have a chair of their own.
Another custom order we received was for a mirrored pair of Stick-a-rondack chairs. The customer knew each handcrafted chair would be a one-of-a-kind, but desired to have a touch of symmetry in the design of the chairs that would be placed on her deck overlooking the mountain range.
For Christmas 2012, we received a custom order for a desk and chair from a man who wanted his daughter to have a whimsical and unique place to do her schoolwork.
Our most recent custom order for 8 Stick-a-rondack chairs is well under way – 4 are completed. Each chair has its own unique character, while contributing to the collection that is clearly a one-of-a-kind set.
The unique and creative ideas of our customers fuels our imaginations as well!
I have several favorite tools – all of which have very specific jobs to do in the making of my handcrafted Stickwork furniture. Today I want to show off my hewing hatchet.
I use this tool for many jobs. The job it has been doing most recently has been to “shave” the bark off branches that I am going to be using on some Stick-a-rondack chairs. It does a fabulous job separating the bark from the branch wood. So what makes this tool special? What makes it different than a regular hatchet?
If you look closely, you will see that this hewing hatchet has one side (the left side) that has a flat
surface. Sometimes this is called a flat hatchet, this flat side helps ensure that the natural materials retain their rustic look.