If you like woodworking, home-grown food, music and self-sufficiency, check out the blog of David Hammond and his father here. David and his extended family have carved out a beautiful life in Powder Springs, Ga., as dairy and chicken farmers, woodworkers and musicians.
They do what they do with principle and are happy to share their experience on the family’s web site. For example, check out this excellent post on making a wooden spatula. And the recipes are excellent, too.
My life in Arkansas is behind me, but I appreciate the Hammond’s embrace of rural and independent living. Lucy and I are working on carving out a similar independent life in the inner city – a different kind of wilderness.
Some of the marquetry and boullework in “To Make as Perfectly as Possible” might seem out of reach for your skills. Or perhaps you haven’t seen the beautiful result of this technique.
In any case, head over to Yannick Chastang’s web site to see a short and inspiring video of the process that was produced for the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Here’s the link. You’ll have to supply your own soundtrack because there is no audio.
When you come to think of it, settles were the only form of traditional oak furniture that were not used for dining; they were for resting, conversing and drinking. As such, they were sociable, not hierarchical. Unlike other forms of seating, settles did not embody the social hierarchy in which great chairs were reserved for those of the highest rank, joint stools served for (almost) everyone else and forms were for the lowliest – servants children and women.
— John Fiske, Antique Collecting magazine, September 2013, and “When Oak Was New: English Furniture and Daily Life 1530-1700.”
Daniel Whitson, a furniture maker and carpenter in western North Carolina, recently finished building this Roorkee for a friend opening a retail store. The legs are made from rhododendron, which is plentiful where he lives.
I have been surprised how well the domesticated Roorkee can rusticated. Check out Brian Eve’s Roorkee on his blog Toolerable, which he made using Diamond Willow.
Plans for the Roorkee are from the book “Campaign Furniture.” If you think chairmaking is beyond your skill set, you haven’t built a Roorkee. They are surprisingly fast and easy to build.