Saturday, March 28, 2009

table with rocks

This is Saturday, so once again, I am competing with the Chinese. They make things, but generally speaking, Americans do not. We have been hungry consumers passing things through our lives from storefront to landfill, caring little for the quality or cultural connections of the objects that smother our sensibilities.

So, you may ask, how can one compete with the Chinese? You do it by making things that last and that tell the more interesting stories of our civilization. Everything in a sense is storytelling, but we have to be careful editors of the stories we tell. Are they meaningful? Do they connect us more deeply with the important issues facing us and the survival of our planet? You can tell the story of what you saw on TV last night. It may have been oh, so funny at the time, and it may have successfully diverted your attention from reality for long enough to fall off to a good night sleep. But are human beings destined to be only the retellers and retailers of the stories made up by others, or are we to engage in real reality, guide our own lives toward significance and telling the significant stories of our own making?

Wood is a great way to tell our own stories... it can record our growth for others to see and share. The photo above is just one more table with rocks. This one was started at a weekend class I taught at Mia Hall's furniture design program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and after some distraction and delay, I am nearly done.

Also, I posted photos of my Crystal Bridges bench on the Fine Woodworking Gallery pages. It can be found here and the first piece in this series can be found here.


  1. You have a fascinating Blog, Doug. I look forward to reading each selection. It was nice to meet you at Jim and Susan's last night, Sandra and I found your comments most enlightening. It is really good to know that there are teachers out there like you.

  2. Thanks, it was also nice meeting you. Thanks for sharing a wonderful evening.