I like wood because you can put stuff in it. I don’t mean you can make a box and fill it with things. That’s not the kind of stuff I’m talking about. I mean the sort of stuff that makes us willing to change the worst baby diaper or ride your bike 50 miles a day out in the cold to train for a race. The stuff that makes you satisfied and at peace when you come home after a hard day’s work. Even though your body aches, your heart is well and warm. It’s more than gratitude, more than joy, maybe it has something to do with love, who knows.
All I know is that it takes something that is alive to hold this kind of stuff. I know it’s there because you can feel it when you lay your hand on an old dresser or sit in an antique chair. The wood has a memory. Those old steamer trunks that were carted all over the world could tell you such amazing tales of far off lands.
A great client and a dear friend, Linda, called me and asked me to design a memorial box. In the box, she wanted to put items that she had from her loved ones. There was, however, one little catch. She wanted her box made out of a table her mother had when Linda was growing up. Even I, who loves a challenge, hesitated to take it on. The table sat in the corner of the shop for a few weeks as I tried to figure out what to do with it. By the time I did finally muster up some courage, or some crazy, to take it on I was pleasantly surprized. As I disassembled the old table, I heard it in the back of my mind. It was like an old record player running without the speaker on. A small whisper vibrated from the wood of that table. I couldn’t hear every word it said but I know it was profound. As I worked, the story of a home full of love and rich history filled the shop from each fiber of the wood grain. And, how amazing it was to get to be a part of that story. To this day, this chest was the most fun I’ve ever had building. Thank you, Linda.
That’s what this place is about. Putting value where it belongs. Do you put value on an item if it’s rare, or if everyone wants one? A Rogue life is cherishing things that can hold stuff, stuff that can tell memories of the past for the future to learn from.