Recent Woodworking Project




Highboy Project


The making of a Grandfather Clock




Baal's Bridge Square



Why Handmade Matters.

We live in a world where many things are mass produced. Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with that. It’s great that some things are manufactured in massive quantities in order to fill a worldwide demand for them.
But it’s also wonderful that more people everywhere are beginning to embrace things that are made by hand in small quantities. In case you hadn’t heard, here is why handmade matters.
1. Handmade is the New American Manufacturing
The past few decades have seen a consistent decline in traditional American manufacturing. It’s sad on one hand. On the other, it has paved the way for a new type of American manufacturing … one that embraces human potential and gives individuals a voice they might not otherwise have. To buy a handmade product is to affirm and give continues life to that human voice. When done throughout a community, multiple times over, an entire city can find new life. We see it happening all across the nation today and it’s making our nation a better place, one community at a time.
2. It’s Human Nature to Value the Creative Spirit
“Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.” – Chuck Klosterman
When you make something, you leave a part of yourself in it. When you are finished creating, you take pride in the work partly because you see yourself in it. When you buy something someone else made, you yourself are reflected in that purchase. Whether it’s the color, the texture, the shape, or just the mood you happen to be in, an item that has been crafted as an expression of the creative spirit person who made it is treasured and valued far beyond an item that was made for worldly mass consumption.
3. Handmade Items are Crafted in an Environment of Joy, Honor, and Respect
Have you ever studied the work space of a person who creates for a living? Their creations are almost always made in a space of joy, honor, and respect. Those same values somehow find their way into the very fiber of a handmade item. For example, consider that every inch of the yarn that forms a hand knit garment once flowed through the fingers of the Maker who knit the garment with intention and purpose. Who wouldn’t take extra special care of such an item.
4. A Handmade Item Cannot be Duplicated
No two handmade items are exactly alike. Variations in color, shading, texture, shape and grain are inherent in a handmade item. No two items are alike, so that every single one is one-of-a-kind. This means that every handmade item you purchase is also one-of-a-kind. What’s not to like about that?
5. Everything is More Beautiful When it’s Made with a Heart
You can serve your guests a frozen, mass produced pound cake or you can treat them to the one your mom made. The frozen one will do in a pinch, but only the one your mom made will touch the very heart of every one of your guests.
A consumer shift is happening. A movement if you will. More and more, people are willing to be educated about the value of a item that is made by hand.
People are starting to dream about things that don’t exist, but should, and then making them come to life.
This is why handmade matters. Surely everyone can understand that.
Want to learn more? Log onto your favorite search engine and search for “artisan local handmade in [your city, state].” Find something wonderful. It won’t take long, I promise. Go out and buy it. Then come back here and tell me all about it in the comments below.
Why do you think handmade matters?

by Donna Maria Coles Johnson





Dyess A.F. Base. Inspection Dock, 1996



New Audio books out.

One of the best books I've read on Masonry is now out in audio format at Audible.

After reading or listening to this you should have gained an insight into what Masonry is about. Although to more fully understand the true meaning of Freemasonry, you cannot simply read about it or listen to an audio book.square and compasses

The narrator, Michael Smith, does an oustanding job with this reading.

winding stairsWritten by Joseph Fort Newton, 1928. this book contains short talks and essays written for the Masonic Service Association of North America in its effort to induce Masons to know more about Masonry and to do more with it. They do not deal with the entire Masonic system, but only with a selection of its symbols - old, familiar, and lovely - at the same time urging the value of Masonry as an asset in the making of better men and the building of a nobler national life. The audio production was made by arrangement with the MSANA, in hope of bringing the light of this gentle philosophy to a new generation.

Lenght, 6 hrs and 49 mins