Into the Builderness


Many woodworkers I know have a similar dream shop. It’s a gorgeous structure deep in the woods, which is surrounded by lakes, fields and wildlife.

When I have this dream, I wake up in a panic.

Growing up in Arkansas with my family’s 84-acre farm inspired me to do only one thing: Move to Chicago. As a writer and woodworker, I prefer the constructed world and its continuous cycle of rebirth and decay. Industrial ruins, overgrown bridges, and neglect set my mind reeling.

The only question is: How much entropy can Lucy and I stand? We might have our answer at 5 p.m. today.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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17 Responses to Into the Builderness

  1. Bartee says:

    OK… I looked up the word entropy…. “lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder”.

    So I am looking forward to your news. The last post about new surroundings showed what looked like your idea of an excellent place. So now ???

    Always fun following your adventures. All of them.


  2. How exciting! I enjoy remote places for what they are, and I wouldn’t mind living out of the way, but whenever I permit myself the luxury to think about where I would want my dream shop to be it’s always in a downtown storefront with plenty of North-facing windows, a wood floor and an old tin ceiling.

    Good luck!


  3. Ryan McNabb says:

    The best place for a tradesman to live is near other tradesmen. Tradesmen shops, tradesmen bars, camaraderie, research, competition. Colonial Williamsburg on several scales, both larger and smaller, is perfect.


  4. calebjamesplanemaker says:

    Best wishes to you. >

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Saaaaahhhhweeeet!


  6. dknott2013 says:

    Take a deep breath…and approach the situation with an open mind. Look for–and see–potential. Take another deep breath. Best wishes.
    And, by all means, let us know what happens.


  7. Ryan Starkey says:

    That’s an interesting way to perceive the “cycle” in an artificial sense, when I’m sure you saw it in the natural sense on that 84 acre Arkansas farm (if it had a woodlot). Good luck today.


  8. Gail Middleton says:

    Good luck!


  9. Good luck, Chris. I can’t wait to hear what happens. I know you’ve been looking for a while.


  10. ewingda says:

    Excited for you, Lucy and John.


  11. Ham Salad says:

    Very cool. Des Moines is converting it’s entropy into usable space downtown. Luckily, there’s not a lot of push to get rid of the old stuff.


  12. gblogswild says:

    If you’re done with the 84 acre farm, send me the deed and I’d be happy to dispose of it for you. I liked some of the stuff you wrote so It’s the least I could do.


  13. proclus153 says:

    I also grew up on a lot of land in a very rural area, and the only part of living in urban Dallas I resent in relation to craft is that I’m sure the city or my neighbors would have a problem with my setting up a coal forge like I had in my youth–bituminous coal is a smelly business.

    I hope you’ll eventually be able to maintain some kind of public space; my wife and I drive from Dallas to Detroit a few times a year, and we always seem to hit the Cincinnati area around rush hour.


  14. Entropy. I love that word. I haven’t seen it since thermodynamics classes in college. Thanks for the fond (and slightly scarring) memories…


  15. lcm7293 says:

    So what was the outcome? Did you get your answer?


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