Wooden Treasure Boxes

This blog is part of the We Are Who We Come From series.

My Father

My little brother and I grew up spending hours and weekends with my Dad in our garage in Connecticut watching and helping him build all manner of wooden --  well, things.  From my bedroom furniture, to little boxes, to large bird houses, to frames for artwork, to gosh ...  everything. 

I love the smell of a wood shop and have this appreciation for tools that must come from all those trips to the hardware store with my Papa where he would lovingly admire all the amazing tools. 

And I have only now found out from Mom that he actually started turning wood at a class in San Francisco in 1960-something.  I don't even think that she remembered that until she found a pretty little bowl recently that he had made her and inscribed, so many years ago.  


Dad in his Portland workshop - his happy place

He Followed his Folly

Somewhere along the line, while being a medical director in pharmaceuticals and medical research, he got back to taking classes and got a nice lathe. 

Now we all have gorgeous hand-turned wood pieces that we use to hold various treasure and even food.  

Many are nothing more than explorations of form and just whimsical shapes that are too tiny to really use for anything - and that's why they are so special. He seems to be happiest in his wood shop -- making lovely things.  

He was a true artist.  He found peace and pleasure in it.


The Incognito Artist's studio workshop

The Incognito Artist

I have been working diligently in my photography "studio" the last week or so. 

I've been on a mission to capture some of my inventory of handmade turned wood to share and add to the Store @ Baldur Studios. 

And, it's truly only a start.

Truth is, it's really hard to part with some of these pieces.   Each piece is wholly unique in every respect.  The shapes.  The wood species.  The finish. 

One thing they all have in common, is the artist who works quietly in his garage shop, every day, sorting, and forming, and twirling the wood on his lathe. 

He creates, not to make a sale, or to show his work, or even get credit (he told me he'd prefer to be "un-named" in this little venture of mine!). 


Dad at his lathe   Dad working intently at his lathe, pure joy for him

He creates, just because he loves it.  The tools - oh, so very cool.  The wood - what to do with all those random pieces of mystery found-wood?  It's often hard to recall where some of it even came from.  Being in the shop.  The smell of the wood shavings.  The feel of the shapes in his hand.  The process of creating something elegant out of a chunk of wood.


Handmade tiny treasure boxes

These wood pieces are all lovely, organic forms that make a fabulous vignette on a shelf or a coffee table.  But better still, most are tremendously useful. And, I love that kind of art.  Something beautiful that also has a purpose in life. 

And today is his birthday -- Happy Birthday Dad!!  I love you.

My Dad, The Incognito Artist, in his vegetable garden


His Art and Passion Inspire Me

Now Dad is helping me make tiny wooden jars that I can apply enameled metal lids to.  A joint-venture if you will. 

Actually, he has gotten a long list of wood art requests from me, but he doesn't sweat the deadlines too much these days! 

I must remember - "You Are Who You Come From"!  


Thanks for reading.  Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Surround yourself with hand-made beauty.

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