It’s September again. The swamp maples are a brilliant red and orange, ash trees are rapidly loosing their leaves, and geese are heading south. Our first killing frost was September 15, 28°. If that didn’t do the tomatoes in, the the 26° on September 19 sure did. When the air gets that cold and the water is still warm from the summer heat, steam rises from the pond up the road.
In the shop I made a Shaker round stand, a bit different than my usual cherry. It was figured rock maple, dyed bright blue. It’s off to the WoodWorks exhibit at the Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield, MA until November 2, 2014.
I also made a Shaker wall clock. This one in white pine with a shellac finish. It’s been a few years since I’ve worked with shellac, but with a bit of effort, it came out just fine, very close to the original Isaac Newton Youngs clock. The interior was left natural, to retain that wonderful pine scent. In addition, I had to make a crate for the clock’s trip to Germany.
The last clock I made was in 2010, and now all of a sudden they are popular again. Next on the shop schedule is a Shaker tall clock, in ebonized maple, with a satin sprayed finish. That is my favorite clock, in black it looks tall, thin, and elegant.
Outside the shop, I volunteered for yet another wood project. The 1898 sugar maple at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker community had to be taken down. It was planted in honor of Elder Joseph Brackett, composer of Simple Gifts. Instead of cutting the timber for firewood, six turners and woodworkers will use a portion of the wood for a variety of projects and donate 25% of the profits back to the Shakers. Peter Asselyn has already turned over 30 bowls. Big pieces of the tree are still available. Stay tuned for the results early in 2015.
Finally, the butler desk mentioned in my June 2013 blog has finally made it into Fine Woodworking, the December 2014 issue.
Don’t forget the annual Open House at my shop October 11 & 12, noon to 5 pm. It is scheduled this year to coincide with Maine Craft Weekend. We’ll have cookies, cider, doughnuts, and several prototypes and leftovers for sale at reduced prices, plus wood, tools, books,and DVDs for sale. Make an effort to stop by.
C.H.Becksvoort © 2014