That Is An Office?

You know, I once heard a wise man say “an office is what you make of it”. (OK, I have never heard that said until I just thought it up. But it is true.)

Some people need to have an office in the corner of the building with lots of windows and fancy chairs.

You know why?

That is probably because the work they’re doing is not interesting to the eye …. And therefore the soul.

Well my goal is to make things interesting to see. And therefore I love working in the studio and having it be my “office”.

There is just one problem….it is a dirty environment. I cannot keep a piece of white paper anywhere in the studio without it getting dirty. And it just doesn’t say professional if there are burn marks on my letterhead.


So I needed an “office” I could work from, while in the studio.

And I finally figured it out.

It started with these two tool boxes I saw at a friend’s salvage lot.


They were tool boxes for the back of a work truck, and were made to sit horizontally on the bed of that truck.


But he had them standing up on the end and I thought they were perfect for an office. (That was a stretch… but I do have an active imagination)


I selected the smaller one (reason unknown) and made the purchase. When it was back at the studio I started working on the shelves and repairing the dents. The doors would open to the side and there would be hooks and attachments for all the things needed in an office.

I added adjustable shelving holders on the inside and installed a light. A power cord was fitted into the bottom so I could run my chargers and plug in the light. A rack was added to hold my radio (in the future) while coat and apron holders were welded to the back. I toped it all off with clip board holders, a paper towel rack a trach can, and mounted it on wheels.

I had the whole thing sandblasted to clean it up and then had it powder coated a modern silver color. (kinda gives it a robot look)

But what makes it work is the weather stripping I added to the door so all that dust I talked about would not be able to get inside.

And it works great!

I now have a great place to store my paperwork and keep things clean in general.

If you have ever had a problem finding just the right spot for an office, do like me. Add wheels to the bottom of a toolbox and move it to wherever you need it.


I would love to see how you have solved the situation of a dirty shop and a clean office. Send me your comments or solutions to;


Or use the form below;


Before and After; A Chair’s Journey

A photo journey from broken antique to whimsical child’s chair.

I have been making a chair to donate to the Council for the Arts here in Jacksonville. They have an event called Art Block; where they take over the whole block in front of their gallery and put on a street festival.

The “Chairity Auction” is a collection of repainted / decorated/ repurposed chairs which are auctioned at the event.

Well, here is how mine developed;

>>>in photos>>>

The chair in it’s original condition;


Each piece was broken apart, resized to child size and glued back together;

More gluing;

The back was cut from a beautiful piece of plywood… until I noticed that I forgot to leave the part to attach it to the chair. So I used an old piece of plywood I had in the studio… not a perfect, but it can be sanded to look great (just extra work).

The leaves were cut and added;

The seat shows the differences in sizes between an adult and child’s chair;

Here are all the “Leftover parts”;

The paint starts bringing it all together;

Plywood backing for the cushions were cut and sanded;
















Then the foam was added;

The upholstery was staples on;

The final pieces were added and it was ready to go;


You can see it, and bid on it, at Art Block.

Downtown Jacksonville, NC.   Sat 4-29

Table Art

In my “Art All Around Us” hunt I found some in the most unusual place…a table.

Now I don’t mean on the table, I mean the table.

We were eating at the Rx Restaurant and Bar in Wilmington NC and saw a collection of tales which had been made by a craftsman.

The design was interesting. It could have been made of steel and glass…but NO!

They made it cool.


And for that I am thankful.

So thanks to the folks at the Rx Restaurant and Bar, for the treat, both on the table, and the table itself.


If you see some art that is there just because someone decided to make it nice, take a photo of it and send it to me.

The world will be a better place when we share the “Art All Around Us”


You can comment with the form below, or email me at

shirt front s

Quality Art is Smart and Beautiful

I was recently at the Lenior NC sculpture festival. There were about 50 sculptors presenting about 140 sculptures.

The show has been going for 39 years, and they say next year will be even greater.

I had one piece entered in the show. It didn’t win, but it was purchased…and I kinda think that’s a win.

But I love celebrating quality work wherever I see it, and I saw a number of great pieces that weekend.   I also love art which shows ingenuity and craftsmanship…I call it smart and beautiful.

I met artist, Eric Isbanioly, a North Carolina artist, and was fascinated that he had created a coffee table.  It was very well crafted and very interesting.

elemental joe

You may not know without being told, the base of the table is a model of the coffee molecule. (It is a coffee table isn’t it?)

Eric named it “Elemental Joe”. There is even a little chemistry information on the website for those interested.

You can see more if his work at, or email him at

The Cat Table

I have a friend who is a cat lady.

No! not the kind you are thinking of!!!

She is not crazy, or old, or disheveled.

She is just interested in helping animals and has a great caring heart.

I was tasked with making a entry table for her home. An entry table is the one in the foyer where the keys and purse land as you walk into the house.

She let me decide on the design and, of course, I thought it needed some connection to cats!

cat table1s

My idea came out as a collection of cats with their tails up in the air holding up the tabletop. But a little experimentation showed I would be a need some sort of legs to aid in holding the tabletop.

I drew the cats on the computer and had them water jetted by Nash at Accurate Fab. in Wilmington. Those guys did a great job. The seven cats were all perfectly hunched down. I welded their tails on to finish the look.

cats 3s

But look closely and you will see something different… right in the middle of the cats is a small mouse hiding in plaine sight.

mouse 1s

It was a fun project and turned out great.


As always:

I would love to hear your comments or observations.

Use the form below or email me at




Accentuating Walnut

It has been a little while since posting anything about my current projects.  Part of the reason is because I am busy on several large projects, and some smaller ones which had to be done by Christmas.

Now you may ask, how do you do several large projects at the same time?

That is a valid question…

There are times when I just exhaust the idea I had in my head and I have to wait for the correct idea to return.  I guess you would call that a creative block.

(My wife calls it procrastination.)

Sometimes it’s a time problem and I have to do some other, more pressing, matter.  (like kayaking)

It’s all frustrating at times, but seems to be part of the creative process I go through as I design and create.

With that being said I want to show you a project I have been working on this past week.


A Black Walnut Side Table.

I had a piece of black walnut stored in my studio for about 10 years (talk about a long design process…but that is another story).

It had picked it up from a friend who was cleaning out some old wood.  The piece was about 7 feet long, about 1 ¼ inches thick and 18 inches at the widest.    One end was the fork of a branch and showed a great figured crotch at the joint.

While thinking about the design, I realized the beauty of this piece would be in the walnut and the base only needed to be a complement to that top.

The wood would speak for itself.

I needed the base to be just be simple but still  interesting.

in the forges

heating in the forge

The Build

I decided the legs would be made of 5/8 round steel with upended feet.

Upended feet?         Ok, I’ll tell you.

The process of upending  a piece of steel is as follows.  Heat the metal until red hot and then slam the end onto a flat piece of metal until the ends become thicker and add a feel to weight to the bottom of the leg.   Do that over and over until the end of each leg has thickened.


a little torching is always helpful

upsetting 1

slamming it into the back of a swedge block












the ends

The ends were then reheated in the forge to heat a longer area so I could get distortion

to continue up the leg for several inches.  The effect was interesting and I thought it added the right touch to the legs.





I then added slight curves in the legs to allow the base to be more secure.  They were connected with small arches between them at the top and the bottom for stability. Simple curved cross pieces were added lengthwise to base.  The simple smooth lines were necessary but not over powering…just what it needed.stands

A metal rim was designed to connect it all together.  The rim was formed to match the curves of the live edges of the wood top.









I had been sanding and finishing the walnut as the building had been progressing.  I wanted it to show off the natural beauty of the wood. The walnut carries the piece and is just accented by the design of the base.




table finished

I think the finished piece is just what I had in mind.


Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think.

You can email me at

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