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I have been retired for several years and while I dabbled for years I only got into woodworking seriously after I was free from my job at the local university.

During this period I have done woodworking that mainly involved building furniture (audio cabinets, audio speakers, desks, bookcases, lamp stands, lamps, coffee tables, etc.) for our house. I have posted several project articles about these various pieces on this site in the past. During my long career working for a local university I also did freelance writing for various audio magazines on (of course) audio topics, and this explains why I put my woodworking and electronic skills to use building the audio speakers noted above.

I also did carpentry work, adding two rooms to my existing workshop out back, as well as an adjacent deck next to the shop for doing woodworking outdoors, and I also did quite a bit of carpentry work on our house itself, installing solid-wood doors as replacements for the tract-home doors in our house, adding reinforcement timbering to the attic, and building and installing cabinets, front doors, back doors, and closet doors.

Some time back, I decided to start making wood art collages (both in bright-colored and stained woods and in weathered woods, lightly stained), chess boards, and frames for various photographs that I made a few decades back when I was a serious "art" photographer who did scenics, portraits, and wedding work.

My works have been well received and I now have nearly 50 items in four local art galleries, a dozen of which have sold over the past three months.

Lately, one important local gallery wanted to exhibit (and sell) my items, but the curator wanted exclusivity with specific styles, and so I started making wood sculptures and even lamps for that facility. Some of my items are shown in the attached photos. This particular batch is made of stacked and glued together red and white oak boards that have been stained and clear coated, with some small parts made of reclaimed redwood. The black-painted bases under some of them are simple pine. It is interesting how items like these, as well as my collage art pieces, appeal to people who want more than assembly line produced items from far-eastern knick-knack factories. This is the beauty of doing custom woodworking for people who appreciate the hands-on, exclusive-art approach.

Tools included my table saw, miter saw, band saw, spindle sander, bench-type belt sander, shaper, drill press, sanding blocks, and of course stains and clear coats.

I will continue to make collages, chess boards, and items like those illustrated here as long as customer demand dictates.

Howard Ferstler
 

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That's really clean work and forms. Clearly not Pacific Rim mass-production!
Now you need to get going with gouges and a mallet.

Welcome to retirement. How did we ever find time to work?
I'm a retired Botany/Biology/Wood Science prof.
 
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