This is a custom-built table request that I just completed, made from shipping pallets. Three kinds of wood from different pallet sources were used in constructing the table: pine, oak, and cedar. Overall dimensions are 30” x 30” x 15”.
The surface of the table top is sanded smooth, but left intentionally uneven, as the pallet planks used to construct the top varied in thickness. The requester wanted the sides to bare the markings and stamps typically associated with shipping pallets, and the wood overall retained the markings, flaws, scars, and wear from years of industrial use, from the elements, and from the pallets original manufacturing.
Boy howdy am I behind on posting updates. But, the good news is that I’ve been busy down in the shop, and I’ve just posted a batch of new lamps and a new bench. Number three in the slat lamp series has emerged.
This one is quite a bit larger than the first two models, and features a very simple arrangement of redwood slats. The cool thing about these slats is that they not only vary in thickness and outside surface angle (they slant in slight different directions), but all the pieces feature the rough saw marks from when the wood was originally milled down from its rough state. These saw marks have a consistent texture and angle all the way around the lamp, adding a nice visual detail. The slats are spaced far enough apart to allow direct viewing of the Edison-style bulb inside. This lamp features the same cloth twisted cord, antique style plug, and polished sockets as the other lamps.
Next up is this simple pendant style lamp made from an antique wiring spool that I came across in an architectural salvage yard. In a similar vein of simplicity, I also ran across this old cooking lid in the same salvage yard. I cleaned it up and sanded it to get this polished aluminum look. I love the beehive-like layers in the design, and the piece looks nice with the antique style socket and bulb.
This is one that I suspect I’ll be making more of for sure. It is made from an old drawer that was removed from an apartment remodel. I removed the handles and cut it down to the length that you see here, but otherwise left it as is. All the old nails, paint and glue marks, and other imperfections are all visible. The worn utilitarian look works well with this antique style electrical hardware.
Here is a slight deviation from what I have been making so far…this is a tabletop accent lamp that is meant for highlighting a surface like the one you see here, a hallway table, etc. it’s made from an old shipping pallet that has this cool red paint still visible. Other than cutting the pieces to size, all of the original dents, marks, and imperfections are left as is. This lamp features a big ‘ol 25W Edison style bulb, twisted cloth cord, old style wall plug, and an inline on/off switch.
And the last of the lamp posts for today is yet another deviation. This time I am posting a lamp that already existed, but was in pretty rough shape. I took the lamp apart, cleaned everything up, then re-assembled it with new wiring and hardware. This is a great classic modern style lamp. This was my first attempt at refurbishing an existing lamp, and I look forward to doing more projects like this
And finally the last item that I posted today was the second bench/table creation, this one made from a combination of shipping pallets (the legs) and a salvaged redwood plank that I found off of Craigslist. I sanded everything down just enough to remove the dangerous splinters, and all of the imperfections are definitely visible but add lots of character to this piece.
Welcome to the Handsome Craftworks blog. I am in the very early stages of establishing a small, part-time one-person art and design practice that will feature hand crafted lamps, artwork, and furniture. I plan on using this blog as a way to catalog different stages of the making process, and to share things that I find inspiring/useful/interesting.
The following is more detailed information about me, the shop, and this blog in case you want to know more. Thanks for stopping by!
MOTIVATION FOR THIS BLOG
I am always fascinated and inspired when I run across blogs or websites that feature behind-the-scenes images and notes on a creator’s conceptual and physical making process (or when they share their trouble-shooting experience with particular tools, materials, or methods), and I am a huge fan of sharing information and knowledge in general. I believe that we benefit collectively from sharing ideas and knowledge, even if only as sources of inspiration.
Architects, musicians, and writers borrow from each other all the time, and so do artists in general - although many do not like to admit it! Woodworkers definitely often share ideas and experiences online. A specific recent example for me of benefiting from shared online knowledge: I bought a used power miter saw and discovered that some internal parts were damaged and needed to be replaced. I quickly found someone’s blog who had gone through the same problem, and who had posted detailed notes and images on how to fix it. It worked, and the saw works like new. This (free!) information saved me a lot of time and money. Part of the inspiration for this blog is to participate in this process of sharing information and ideas on both creative and technical issues.
MOTIVATION FOR THE WORK
As I’ve gotten older, I have come to appreciate “slow movements”, DIY, and up/recycle culture more and more. I realize that these movements are not new and have been developing for many years, but they are still nonetheless important influences on me and my art practice, and nothing to do with being trendy. Don’t get me wrong - I love technology and gadgets. But I have a strong desire to work with my hands and create in ways that are thoughtful, deliberate, and meaningful - qualities that resist the ongoing societal tendencies toward over-consumption, waste, and information saturation. Something critical is lost when objects made by unseen faces in unseen places are cranked out under inhumane working conditions, compensation, and schedules, only to be consumed by unseen others in far away places and discarded into a landfill after their short useful lifespan has expired.
I have both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in art, with an emphasis and interest in interdisciplinary practice. My history working as a drafter shows up in a lot of my work, and that aesthetic is a nice compliment to my love of maps, diagrams, and data/information visualization. My wife Julia is immensely supportive of these projects, and she is also my muse when it comes to talking through ideas and getting her feedback. I am deeply indebted to her.
I look forward to comments, questions, and feedback on future blog posts and on the products themselves as they become finalized. Stay tuned as things develop, and thanks again for stopping by.