A bit about me . . .
Thank you for visiting my website. I am a wood craftsman located in Menomonee Falls, WI. My passion is for specially commissioned, one-of-a-kind, handmade wood pieces of all varieties. This includes stand-alone furniture pieces, interior and exterior mill work, miscellaneous items for the home, and shop furniture. I enjoy working with clients on unique designs that fit their tastes. Whenever possible, I prefer to use old-world techniques such as handsaws, chisels and mallets over power tools. You can get a sense of my work from this website, but if you have a different type of project in mind let me know.
So what do you mean by “handmade”?
A certain aura has developed around things that are or are said to be “handmade,” so much so that seemingly everybody is using the moniker to describe their products. Indeed, I recently saw a can of a popular, mass-produced wood finish, which was obviously manufactured in a large factory, claiming to be “handmade”. And no doubt somewhere a human hand was involved in its manufacturing. But such uses of the word cheapen its value. Surely, someone who wants something “handmade” wants it to be individually constructed and, I would argue, made with simple tools and hard-earned skill.
Handmade things are performances frozen in time. Each saw cut or mallet blow is like a note from a musical instrument that the performer can never take back. The quality of a musical performance is created and risked with every note, every phrase and, in his book Nature and Art of Workmanship, David Pye speaks of craftsmanship in just this way:
“If I must ascribe meaning to the word craftsmanship, I shall say as a first approximation that it means simply workmanship using any kind of technique or apparatus, in which the quality of the result is not predetermined, but depends on the judgment, dexterity, and care which the maker exercises as he works. The essential idea is that the quality of the result is continually at risk during the process of making; and so I shall call this kind of workmanship ‘The Workmanship of Risk’: an uncouth phrase, but at least descriptive.”
And, like the classical musician, the craftsman of such products is never done learning, honing, and practicing his or her skill.