We just received word that Christian Becksvoort’s new book “Shaker Inspiration” has shipped from the Tennessee printing plant and is en route to our Indiana warehouse. This means two things:
We will begin shipping these as soon as possible. I don’t know what date that will be – it depends on the warehouse’s schedule. Please do not bombard poor Meghan Bates with questions about when your book will ship. She doesn’t know. No one (yet) knows, I’m afraid.
As soon as the books arrive in the warehouse, we stop offering the free pdf download with every order. Right now you can get the book and the pdf for $43. After the book hits the warehouse, the book and pdf will cost $53.75. So act now if you want the free pdf.
We also have more news about Christian to announce soon. Keep Jan. 11-12 open on your calendar.
Sew Valley in the West End of Cincinnati is hard at work on its first batch of 100 chore coats in the new bull denim material, and so I crossed the Ohio River this afternoon to take a quick look at the process.
Sew Valley is located in the floor below The National Flag Co., which has been in business for more than 140 years. It’s a gorgeous brick factory with expansive windows and lots of room for machines and cutting tables.
Founded by Rosie Kovacs (above) and Shailah Maynard, Sew Valley seeks to nurture industry in this area by bringing back sewing skills. So short production runs, such as our chore coat, is part of what the company does.
Today production was in full swing on the chore coats, with components neatly laid out and labeled all over the shop. And four people (including Rosie) were setting up machines (both old and new) to assemble the coats.
As always with production, there is a fire somewhere. Today Rosie informed me that she had been shipped only about 40 buttons for the 100 coats. Hmmm. Probably not enough. A text to Tom Bonamici, our designer, got her an answer. The buttons were on their way from New York.
I don’t have a date as to when the coats will be ready. But when they are, I think you’ll be pleased. The sample that Sew Valley made for us is excellent. And even though we’re using a small contract shop, we’re going to be able to keep the price at $185, a small miracle that is the result of both the low overhead and the work ethic at Sew Valley.
One of the things I love about how chairmaker Chris Williams works is that he tries – at every turn – to reduce the tools and contrivances needed to build a chair. One of the big things he offers is that you don’t need a shavehorse to make sticks, stretchers or legs.
Instead, you use a small block of wood in your vise and a block plane to do all the shaving.
I have 100 percent embraced this method from Chris (and John Brown), and I encourage you to give it a try.
Of course, I had to tweak the process a bit for my own liking. Instead of a flat block of wood, I plowed a V-groove in mine, which helps prevent the stick from wandering as you rotate it.
Honestly, you don’t need the V-groove to make this work, but it is nice.