This has been quite a year for the Eugster’s to say the least! It began with Diane and I challenging ourselves and moving to Scottsdale, Arizona for our 20th. anniversary. We’d always wondered how living in a more arts oriented area compared to Las Vegas would be so we rented an apartment for six months to give it a try. Diane has lived in Las Vegas most of her life and I’d been in the Southern Nevada area since 1977 so this was a major step for us both. That challenge led to us moving here to Phoenix where Diane’s work has blossomed, she’s in a new gallery in Charleston where she has had a number of sales. As for me, I now have a free standing woodshop! For that 6 month period the focus of my woodwork shifted from furniture to carving and gilding picture frames. As artists, you always strive to “get to the next level”; whatever that may be! We both feel that this move has been good for us in that respect.
Once we decided to make this move permanent there were those details of selling our home of 20 years in Las Vegas. Those of you that follow my blog (thanks!) recall what we termed our “real estate hell” due to the foul ups of our buyers agent — he was a joke and the brunt on many negative reviews from us! In the midst of this chaos, an email came to me requesting a custom picture frame. This came from a client in New Jersey and my initial thoughts were those of doom and despair — here I have a potential job and no shop to do it in! This gentleman was extremely patient and told me no problem, he wasn’t in any hurry but had a definite idea of what he wanted for his frame.
The painting is by Anthony Thieme; a Dutch/American artist working during the 1920-1950’s and measured 8″ x 10″. He sent me a picture of the painting in its current frame as well as images of a frame style he thought would be a better fit. Although rebuilding the shop here in Phoenix had more than it’s share of challenges my personal goal was to get this frame to him by years end. I shipped it out on the 27th. of December and met that goal. After he received the frame he sent me this picture of it along with this comment: “Frame looks fabulous and really complements the painting. I have attached a picture of the painting and frame. Please feel free to use it in your blog/website, etc…” As I used to always try to impress upon my students, the money you earn from your work is great but won’t compare to the compliments you receive; money is spent but accolades for your work will stay with you forever.
The last major goal for the year was organizing and rebuilding my first, climate controlled, free-standing woodshop. That’s like 80% complete. The shop is just under 500 square feet, it is quite an undertaking to organize from scratch. A good friend of mine from the woodworking group in Las Vegas also moved and is setting up a shop of about the same size. Bill and I have compared photos and it’s interesting to see our different styles when it comes to that phase. I have one major cabinet/drawer unit and prefer to hang stuff on the walls similar to how the Shakers set up their space. That system starts out with 8/4 Alder, ripped to size, then planed. I add a chamfer or shelf to the top, then pegs positioned to hold the tools. Really wonderful to use my planes again after a years time some beeswax was required to make it a real joy.
Here’s a montage of how the shop is shaping up. I need to work on a bid for a possible Etsy commission but the next major undertaking for the shop it to build the doors for the storage area.
And, so ends a wonderful year. Hope that you, like us; are looking forward to more adventures and excitement in 2017!
Happy New Year, John and your family. love your writings
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You are a fine craftsman John.
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