A Furniture Maker’s Blog

by | Sep 10, 2013 | Personal | 1 comment

I have made wood furniture for more than thirty years. Although woodworking was my full-time occupation all through the 1980’s, in those early days I never had occasion to write anything about it beyond an occasional bit of advertising copy. Now, however, I find that I do have something to say about it; in fact, here I am starting a blog.

Let me explain. I returned to making furniture full-time about four years ago, after a stint in engineering school and fifteen years’ experience as a hydrologist. After a couple of years refreshing my design and shop skills, I acquired first a website and then an electronic newsletter, taking advantage of the easy and affordable resources which the Internet offers nowadays to a person with something to market. That’s when I noticed that something had changed: people wanted me to share the personal story that goes with the furniture. Since then, I have continued to receive this message. As a result, there are personal touches here and there on the website, and the newsletter has become a kind of quarterly report on the trajectory of my revived career, with illustrations of current work.

I’m not sure why this is, but it seems to be a mark of the curious times we live in, when so much of the personal contact we used to have with other humans has been replaced by an endless variety of machine-mediated activities. The Internet, of course, is both the crux of this new impersonal world and an apparent new source of personal contact, which makes possible an ever-expanding array of social media and even blogs like this.

This blog will tell the story of an artisan who returned to full-time furniture making in our times. While my quarterly newsletter, News from Zlomke Furniture, will continue with news and pictures of current work, I mean to let the blog range a bit further afield. It will appear more often, and it may touch on esthetic theory, current events, or really any subject that seems to mediate between the work I’m doing and the larger world.

One such subject is the American craft movement, which is much less robust than it used to be and needs help. However, I expect that almost any topic will be fair game, from recent movies to what my mother remembers of her 1930’s childhood. Things have a way of relating to one another in the imagination, as we try to make an artistic whole out of the variety of human experience.

1 Comment

  1. Eric

    Having cruised your newsletter, I was glad to concur with your friend, Ron, about that piece of wood you morphed into a bench. It looks highly suitable for the seat. And what movement – the grain, the wane (thanks for that addition to my vocabulary) and your lines (lineage?) which clarify and adorn without ostentation. I like its weight. Substance which amplifies the ‘on point’ design of the foot of one leg begs the question one could have about a prima ballerina’s lasting endurance. That feature creates a tension that encourages deeper appreciation.
    Dewey’s notion re:art and its place in life sounds like a vote for the awareness of the journey as a central aspect of the overall process. Sound right?


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