...first. I started a blog a few months ago called "Art and Mistry", but let it die because there is another blog, by a furniture maker whom I very much admire (Adam Cherubini) called Arts and Mysteries. This was unintentional. So, since I find myself doing some cool things, and Facebook just doesn't seem the right place to talk about anything of substance, I feel compelled to start writing it down in a place where someone might gain something from it.
My main interests, here as I enter middle age, have boiled down to building Kentucky longrifles, building traditional timber frame buildings and most of the associated building trades, and making some furniture up to what would be considered simple cabinet making. I do not see myself ever making a bonnet top highboy or a marquetry inlaid writing desk. By God's good graces I live in a wonderful place - in the middle of a forest of oak, hickory, yellow pine and beech - pretty much in that order - and have some space to build and move around a bit. I hunt deer on my own land and if I make a smoky coal fire, no one calls the cops. I cut my own trees for lumber and firewood. I cannot help but think this is the natural state of man.
Martin's Station - Cumberland Gap
I am intoxicated by this work and it has pretty much defined the boundaries of my life for the past twenty years. I expect it will do so until it's time to put out the fire and call the dogs. I cannot get past it. I can't be comfortable in a modern house. I can't feel good shooting an automatic rifle. I can't sit in a chair that looks like a giant potato chip without feeling like a fool. I dislike or find comical much of what is current (not all, but much) and this is my attempt to put some insulation between myself and what I feel to be an abrasive modernity. Also, most of this stuff is just better looking and more interesting that what's going on now, and there are only so many hours in the day, so I spend them where the scenery is the nicest.