Workshop Update: March 2021

With intermittent shop time and a lull between bigger projects, I have been finessing some designs for stools. I have had a thing for stools for a long time; it’s a simple form open to endless variations in which small details have a big impact. A stool is also something I can make relatively quickly and sell for relatively little money (relative to, say, a chest of drawers), so I want to have some designs in the bag.

First was a short, four-legged stool small enough for a toddler to sit on, sturdy enough for an adult to stand on, and pretty enough to set out by the hearth. Because I used the prototype for putting on my socks, I called it my “shoes-and-socks stool.”

The underside of the seat has an arching bevel carved with a drawknife. This version uses some lovely walnut I picked up last spring with white oak legs and a natural oil finish.

Next was a carved-three-legged milking stool with a carved-edge seat. Instead of trying to cut and polish a perfect circle, I draw a perfect circle, saw close to the line, and carve the rest with a drawknife. The jauntily uneven, playfully faceted surface is accentuated by a two-layered milk paint finish, in this case black over red. I call this — wait for it — my carved-edge milking stool.

I also made a four-legged version with stretchers, because I hadn’t made anything with stretchers recently and wanted a bit of practice. While a stool this height does not need stretchers, I’m considering this a prototype for a taller stool suitable for painting or playing guitar.

Meanwhile, in odd hours, I also finished a batch of spreaders and a batch of stir-fry spoons (or, if you are from Louisiana, roux spoons), both in various woods.

All of this is for sale, hopefully at a craft market this spring or summer.