Arch Table

February 10, 2010

Arch Table

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I love this photograph. My friend, Emily Hague, took the picture. That, in the background, is the building that houses my studio/workshop. It’s a big, ugly old structure that was built in the late 1920’s on the foundations of an even older building that had burned down. It’s got 12-inch-thick solid concrete walls, lots of large windows with steel factory sash, and 11-foot-high ceilings. I would never call the place charming, but it’s definitely got “character”.

This is where I work. I’ve been in this space for over ten years now, and this is where most of my best work has been conceived and produced. Including, as it turns out, the table pictured above.

I got a note this past week from a person who had discovered my work online. After looking through all the pictures in my portfolio, he named this piece as one of his two favorites. It caused me to go back and look at it again. It’s not a big table, but it’s got a bold presence. The base is quite sculptural and was inspired in part by a magnificent old stone railroad bridge about a mile from my shop. It’s known simply as The Arch Bridge.

But it was the top that was the impetus for the piece. It is made from an old red oak board provided by the customer who commissioned the table. The board had special meaning to him, it had a story. By incorporating it into this table I wrote a new chapter to the story of that old piece of wood. And, in the process, I started a new story, the story of the Arch Table.

Studio Protector

December 19, 2009

In October of 2005 the small city of Keene, NH, where I live and work, was hit with widespread flooding. It wasn’t throughout the city, but all the lower-lying areas were hit to some extent. My workshop was (and is) in one of the worst-hit areas. I had nearly two feet of water throughout my shop/studio/office.

October 2005 - Keene, New Hampshire

I received a lot of help in the aftermath of the floods, mostly from friends and family, but also from the Craft Emergency Relief Fund. CERF is a non-profit organization that helps craft artists/artisans in times of trouble. This is taken from their mission statement:

The mission of CERF is to strengthen and sustain the careers of craft artists across the United States… through direct financial and educational assistance to craft artists, including emergency relief assistance, business development support, and resources and referrals on topics such as health, safety, and insurance. CERF also advocates, engages in research, and backs policy that supports craft artists’ careers…

CERF also takes a proactive role in helping craft artists to prepare in advance of possible emergencies. Their newest effort, which took them two years of research and planning to produce, is called “Studio Protector”.

Studio Protector Wall Guide

StudioProtector.org

In an effort to help educate people on how to prepare for, and recover from disasters, CERF is producing a series of short videos, including four based on an interview they did with me: