What does a furniture maker do in his spare time except spending even more time in the shop? Sometimes it's good to get away from the woodworking environment altogether and just do something completely different. In my case I like to get back to nature and do some hiking or kayaking in summer, skiing in winter, or anything outdoors for that matter. This past week my wife and I were away in the mountains for a few days of just this, getting away from everything, clearing our minds, and regaining focus. I have to admit, it's very hard for me to pull myself away from my studio and from my love of making furniture, but in the end I'm always glad I got away. Shifting focus is a good thing and often puts things into perspective.
We often head to an area two hours or so away, in the mountains, which prides itself on a very outdoor way of life. The surrounding towns and villages offer great craft and art type shops which open up the mind to new design possibilities. Something both my wife and I love to see is other crafts people's work, regardless of the media. We both have a soft spot for crafts and craftspeople in general and their typically modest, rewarding and fulfilling lifestyles.
While visiting some small shops, I found this beautiful small irregular shaped bowl, handmade in Central America. An ideal small piece to complement one of my small cabinets. The workmanship that went into this decorative bowl is amazing and I had to have it. I already have it placed in one of my cabinets.
I also had the opportunity to read parts of a good book, it is furniture related, but nonetheless I had the free time to be able to sit down and focus on this book, which I've sort of read before, but never really in depth. I find I need to set aside an hour or so every day to be able to catch up on my reading, usually much later in the evening at home. This doesn't always work out, and I begin to accumulate partially read books, etc. I'm a book hound and have shelves full of interesting books that I've read, but also a few small piles of books in the process of being read.. I still hope to address this dilemna somehow, maybe I'll just pack a pile of books into a bag and get away for a few days to do just this.