E N Curtis Woodworks

Handcrafted, Functional Art in Wood

We're taking our Next Steps...

...in furniture making. And you know, the wonderful thing about this thing we call woodworking is that it has the power to bring you into the moment and release the world around you. Over the weekend I had to travel back to NY, where I live, and found out that one of my close relatives had died unexpectedly. That kind of tragedy—which my family is still dealing with—makes the days long and distracted. Nothing can be quite the same for a time, but doing the thing you love to do most, and being immersed in it completely, can help. There's a sense of relief knowing that you can be happy in a time of sorrow, even simply as a distraction. This is what woodworking means to me—it's a beautiful, poetic lifestyle. You can pay homage to your loved ones through your furniture, and you can love your furniture through your daily work.

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Our class this last week and a half has been fantastic; and by fantastic I don't mean perfect. We've made mistakes—silly mistakes, physical mistakes, unforeseen mistakes—but mistakes which are key to learning. If you make a mistake at home, you can analyze, watch videos, read books, and try again. But if you make mistakes here, while you're at school, you have the benefit of learning from people who have a great deal of experience, and they can tell you exactly what went wrong, why it went wrong, and, now that it has happened, how to fix it. Hard work is critical in this work, but making blunders and learning why it happened is even more valuable. 

We're just now beginning to see some of the projects taking shape. After a week and a half of joinery and lessons, we now have some end tables, coffee tables, and tool boxes starting to form. We've done some (pre)finishing, surface prep, and a few glue-ups, and it's always encouraging to see our progress along the way. In the meantime, I've been continuing to workshop a small design, perhaps a key cabinet of some sort, which I'm itching to get to work on. We'll see how this and other pieces I'm scheduled to make over the next several weeks progress.