Happy New Year
As the new year unfolds I thought I’d spend a little time writing, reflecting and sharing here.
This past year was a blur of a lot of teaching and with it travel—coast to coast, to England and Japan. I do enjoy it, but this coming year will be a bit different. Jazmin and I have been finalizing the last gigs of 2019 and our plan is to “explore” just how much we can make—both in the form of money and craft—while staying home in Wisconsin. I’m excited about this, but it’s going to be challenging. Our travels will be limited. We will return to Japan this Spring and I think we will travel back there every year from here on out. Seriously…that place changed me. Read about it here. I’ll teach again in Gifu and then study wood turning and urushi. Jazmin will take a workshop on indigo dyeing too. We have an ongoing fundraiser to help with the costs. By pre-ordering an urushi bowl, cup, or spoon you can really help. Info here.
In May we will also head to the West Coast for a few classes—Spoon Carving in Oakland, CA, Pole Lathe Turning in Sebastopol, CA and a week of classes in Port Townsend, WA. Over the summer there will be classes at North House, MN which is close to home and a couple classes here in Ashland, WI. A For Teachers of Spoon Carving Course and an Advanced Spoon Carving class. These are going to be really fun. Ashland is an awesome and beautiful place. A hidden gem in many ways. Plus, Lake Superior is something to see if you haven’t already. Check out the calendar of events here.
Over this past year I’ve been slowly putting time in on my book on pole lathe turning. In late in 2017 I signed a contract with Lost Art Press. It will be the first book of its kind and one of the most challenging things I’ve done to date, work wise. These next few weeks are dedicated to shooting the photography for the how to sequences, writing those sections and tidying them up for the completion of my part of the book. I am trying to write the book I wish existed when I started pole lathe turning 10 plus years ago. It includes history, turning techniques, and projects like snibbskal and handled mugs. It also includes detailed steps for tool making, which currently information on is pretty scant. Of course there’s more than that, this is just a taste. After I send my part in, I’m sure there will be some back and forth with my editor and publisher. Eventually it will be printed and available late 2019, I’m guessing.
I’m also planning to breathe a little life into the blog in 2019, although no guarantees. It’s been a real challenge to balance making, teaching, and the never ending administrative side of running a craft business. This includes how to deal with or use, the dreaded free social medias. I’m growing very tired of all of them. I’m tired of being the product—yeah, that’s what happens when we don’t want to pay—and constantly trying to deny this plain truth while using it to advertise my very small craft business. It is taking its toll on my mind. Am I a brand? How does sharing my personal life influence my sales? It’s really complicated and exhausting. I’ve just heard that we are already cyborgs because of our smart phones, but because the connection speed is so slow (through our eyes) it’s not so apparent…yet. Maybe working on building a solid blog following will help with all of this by keeping it really simple.
We have recently remade the website and are offering made to order goods. For now this is the best way for me to have my work available for everyone all the time. We will continue to have some special sales throughout the year as well. I’m developing new designs and planning a Lámhóg sale for later this month. Here is something to note: If you are reading this because you want to know about my ideas and thoughts regarding my work, and random craft commentary then the blog is for you. If you also want to know about the specifics of what’s for sale and when or when I’ll be teaching, etc…you should subscribe to the newsletter.
We are very thankful for all the support over this past year. I hope you’ve had a great year and here’s to an awesome 2019!