Northwesterner Series

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Back when I started Wood&Faulk, its only real purpose was to ever be a blog. I wanted to share some house projects, furniture finds, and some general experiments. I added a store just to make a little scratch to pay for hosting and materials for projects for posts – but things are kind-of evolving already. I’m still keeping the blog format as you know it, and the current style of content won’t change. I’ll always want to share interesting projects and experiments like I’ve always done. The one thing that will be evolving is the store. As the books, notepads and miscellany sell off, they won’t be replaced and I’ll be converting the store content to more hardgoods and the like. I’m excited to have new bags in there, and will be putting belts and camera straps in the store this week as well. Hopefully this won’t affect anyone much, for the little bits never seemed to sell that fast anyway.

To start the store transition, I’m happy to release a new series of bags that I’m really excited about – the Northwesterner Series. Made with Martexin Original Waxed water-repellant canvas and fine leathers – they are sturdy as ever, and sure to last long enough for even the next generation to enjoy. I was inspired by the colors and the climate of the Pacific Northwest, but I feel the classic styling is perfect to fit any situation. Available in 16” sizes now, and in the larger 20” coming soon. All of them come with matching straps. Many thanks to Lisa Warninger for the brilliant-as-always photography.

Also, thank you to everyone who’s been such a loyal reader and customer so far. I’m amazed everyday to hear from old and new readers. It’s been a busy time for me lately, and I know the frequency of posts has dipped – just know that I miss creating and sharing things with you guys when I’m tied up. You are all such patient and kind friends!

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Basia Bulat Review and Giveaway

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I don’t really understand the classification of Folk music. There’s so many sub-genres and variations, and the only tie I can usually make is that it might be primarily acoustic? Folk artists of the 60s tend to pop into my mind first, then I think of Eugene Levy’s character in “A Mighty Wind.”

Basia Bulat is largely considered a folk artist. You’ll read that she plays the autoharp. You might also hear that this album was primarily written while touring through the Yukon. All of these details set a certain expectation for some typically sleepy folk music, right? So you put this record on your turntable and sit back expecting something wistful and sleepy and then the first track ‘Go On’ starts with a little strumming and interestingly sweet vocals as you’d expect… then the drumming starts. And the rhythm gets a little feverish. Then the strings come in. Vocals are getting stronger and you find that you’re not just tapping to it, but you’re kind of stomping!

‘Go On’ seems like the greatest way to start this record. It gets you excited, breaks any notion of what you might be expecting, and then lets the rest of the record unfold. From there, you really notice the contrast in each song – some more complicated and large, some so simple and delicate. ‘Sugar and Spice’ politely scales things back a little, only to break away with another dense and feverishly urgent run with ‘Gold Rush’. Each song shows Basia’s diversity, yet they all weave together for wonderfully cohesive album.

There’s a few great videos available to listen on Basia’s website – my favorite being the ‘Heart of My Own’ performance. Have a listen, see what you think, and if you’re really liking it as much as I am, maybe you’d like a chance for some giveaway loot?

Thanks to a fine friend, the Art Counsel, I’ve got some goodies to give away. One lucky reader will win a copy of Basia’s recent album on vinyl, and one lucky LOCAL winner will get 2 passes to see her upcoming show at The Woods on June 2nd. (Where I bet she’ll be playing this new song.)

Just leave a comment below to say hello, or tell me about your latest favorite record, or whatever… and I’ll draw a winner for the record. As for the tickets – indicate whether you’re available to attend the show in your comment, and I’ll choose the winner from those. I’ll announce the winners one week from today, on Monday, May 30. Good luck!

 

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Salt Cellar Project

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You’ll need some tools:
  • A belt sander with heavy grit paper
  • Orbital or palm sander with finer grit paper
  • Drill press and forstner bit
  • OSMO finish
  • Soft cloths
You’ll need a few materials:
  • Block of wood –I used walnut
  • Glass vessels – sciplus.com

My latest DIY for Design*Sponge just went live, so I wanted to share with you here as well. I was hesitant to embrace their May theme of flowers, but after some thought, I started thinking… What would I make my Mom for Mother’s Day in a kind of “middle-school shop class” style?

I’ve had some interesting apothecary-type glass bottles laying around from an impulse purchase at American Science and Surplus, and some rough Walnut stashed in the shop. What if I use them both to make a small flower vessel centerpiece? Maybe I add a little salt cellar to it as well? This project goes much easier if you have the right tools, but could be accomplished with lesser machinery with some modifications.

From my rough of Walnut, I cut a piece off and started some rough sanding on the belt sander. You can use a palm sander, but it’s certainly going to take longer. I started out in a conventional shape, but decided to experiment with some facets and angles… just free-form sanding, but making sure my surfaces are all flat. You have lots of ways to experiment here – all square edges, angles, facets, live edges, bark edges… you can pretty much try anything. Rough sand with a heavy grit (60-80) to get the general shape you want.

From there, I mounted the block on the lathe to cut a cellar out of it. I know lathes aren’t readily available in most homes, but you can carve this with hand tools, or even just drill out a surface. Maybe drill out a surface for a ceramic salt cellar to be placed in it? If you’re turning on the lathe, make sure you do it a the slowest possible speed. Since the carving is not centered, it’s going to wobble for sure.

Once having the cellar shape cut and sanded on the lathe, I used my drill press and a forstner bit to cut the vessel holes. Measure your vessel and cut a hole just slightly larger. Decide how deep or high you want them sitting… and you could even angle them in for an interesting look. Please be careful if you’re using a hand-held drill and a forstner bit… they usually get unwieldy very quickly.

After all my cuts and holes have been made, It’s time for finish sanding. This is the part I always want to rush, and it pays to relax and go slow. The more sanding you do, the better your surface will feel. I used my orbital sander with grits from 120, 180, 260, and 320. By then, you’re getting wood incredibly smooth, and I further worked the surface with a hand sanding block and 400 grit ultra-fine paper. With that last pass, you’ve got VERY fine dust everywhere, so make sure you either blow it all off with compressed air, or use a tack cloth to clean the wood.

After sanding is complete, you can apply some finish. Since this will be touching something edible, make sure you pick a food-safe product. I have been using OSMO lately and I think it’s great. It’s low VOC and made from vegetable oils and waxes. Apply some OSMO thinly with a soft cloth and follow up with a clean cloth. Then just let it cure for 12 hours. Once cured, you can buff for a little more shine.

Last step – add your favorite finishing salt, and pick a small flower or twig from your yard to complete!

 

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What happened to that sofa?

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Well, it’s been a looooong time since I first proposed an upholstery change for the little sofa. I had received so many great comments and ideas, and then completely slacked off and haven’t shared the final outcome. So, the final choice was to use some grey heathered Pendleton wool, square off and cut the cushions, and use a light silver thread for all the topstitching. I’ve been sitting on it for a few weeks now and it’s just looking better as the cushions ‘crush’ a little.

For some of you that thought I was going to tackle the sewing myself, I totally did not even attempt it. Took it to a trusted upholsterer in town and he really did a great job. No way I could have made those stitches so straight for that long. If you need some upholstery in Portland, check out AJ’s on Prescott.

Also, I had to show off the redwood slab table I found the other day. I had thought I was going to make some legs for it on the lathe, but I’m come to really like the simple handyman-style base that was on it. And yes, I stack my high-brow design magazines along with books about bowling.

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Belt Project Documented

Back when I started experimenting with belt making, my good friend JD said that he would make a short video to document it. JD is the super-talented design director at Instrument, and we’d previously filmed little clips of a screen printing project that he turned into an cool movie; so despite me feeling slightly awkward on camera, I knew it would be fun and turn out neat.

Now you can see the full process of how I made the first run of belts, spot some mistakes, see how I cheated and used letterpress polymer dies instead leather stamps, and see what a pain in the arse it would be to hand-edge 50 belts! As for anyone curious about me putting belts back in the store… it’s happening soon. But, then if I just showed you how to make one, will any of them sell? Uh oh.

Wood&Faulk on Vimeo
Music by Gabriel and the Hounds

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