September has gone from mid summer to instant fall this year. Two days ago it was 90° F (32° C) and very humid, and today it’s only 58° (14°C) with possible chance of frost. Quite a switch. And of course September is aster time. These wild New England asters put on a spectacular display.
What is really amazing is the fruiting of various tree species each year. Two years ago, we had a bumper crop of apples. Last year it was red oak acorns. This year it’s the sugar maples and white pines. We’re inundated with maple samaras and white pine cones. It seems that there is a reason for this. If only one tree produces fruit or seeds, the consumers (birds, squirrels, mice, bears, humans) would easily wipe out the entire crop. However, if all trees of a species in a given locale produce a bumper crop, the chances of seeds or fruit germinating and reproducing are greatly increased. Trees communicate through roots and mycorrhizal threads, exchanging not just nutrients, but also information.
The new book (still untitled, and still in need of an illustrator familiar with furniture measured drawings), is about done except for photos. We’re busy shooting, and rounding up pictures from a variety of sources..
This month I held my last workshop at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker community. We made a dovetailed carrier in white pine.
Next summer will be my first free summer in almost three decades. No classes, no workshops.
In the shop I made two matching Shaker side stands were, which are part of a larger order waiting to leave the shop. It’s getting crowded.
Last month Ben Strano of Fine Woodworking stopped by and shot “Just Another Dovetail Video.” Not actually a 7-minute drawer, in reality it takes closer to an hour. And I never have a “Lazy Monday.” Great music, though. I think it was pretty well received and enjoyed. Of course one dude had to whine about me using a belt sander. For over 3 decades I’ve made my living from woodworking. I own almost a dozen planes, and use them when the need warrants. The reason I’ve managed is because I work efficiently. I don’t do this for therapy.
Finally, I also completed the Shaker settee and low table that I started last month. Ebonized, with a satin spray finish, it turned out to be rather elegant. It will appear in FWW sometime in the near future.
Just a reminder that on October 14 & 15, 10-4, on the annual Maine Craft Weekend, we will have an open studio and showroom. There will be a few prototypes and other pieces for sale , as well as tools, wood, books & DVDs. Also cards and photos by Juniper Ledge Designs. Stop by for cider & donuts, see new pieces, or just to chat and say hello. It’s worth the drive if you’re in the greater Portland area.
C. H. Becksvoort © 2017