Fall is a favorite time of year for me.  The leaves are crisp and colorful, though this year's summer weather has muted the colors a bit.  None the less, we've had many ideal fall days lately.  Recently, the night's have been getting colder, and that means that the temps in my shop are dropping.  When the sun sets, it's getting pretty cool in there...time to get out the electric radiators and think about ways to better insulate the place.  But those things take a second seat to thinking up some new pieces for the holiday shows.  In past years, I really haven't put a lot of time and energy into creating pieces with specific holiday associations, but this year, I'm doing just that.  I've come up with some new holiday-themed pieces, and I hope to get some pictures up in our Gallery pages soon.  Sometimes, I feel kind of like Santa Claus, sitting at my work bench which is often covered with split willow and sawdust.  I love to watch these pieces take shape, visualizing them in our house.  We go in for big time Christmas decorating in the house, so I'm working away, hoping that if a given piece will work in our house, it will work in yours, too.  Hoping to see you at one of the holiday fairs that we're doing.  Check out our calendar page!

Had a great time at the Woodstock-New Paltz Art and Craft Fair in New Paltz, NY over the Memorial Day weekend.  The weather was a bit windy, but sunshine prevailed and the storms that seemed to be threatening for Monday left us alone.  This was my third time at this show, and I had another good showing there.  Met lots of new friends and really enjoyed reconnecting with folks who have visited my booth during past shows.  Talking with people about changes in everyone's lives - seeing people once a year really brings that into focus.  There were babies born, news of friends from way back with whom I've  lost touch, and one marriage to be announced!  

     I took two fairly hefty benches with me that were new additions to the store.  Both featured heavy plank tops  with peeled maple legs.  Mortise and tenon joints, of course, with a quality glue to help keep them strong.  One went off to a new home on Sunday,while the other (a 5 footer - the longer of the two) got lots of oohs and aahs, but ended up coming back home with me to await the next show.  

     I demonstrated at this show - which meant that I had more room than usual, so I could stretch out a bit, and I did get a fair amount of work done.  Did the frameworks of 3 new Elfin chairs.... finished one of them with a woven webbing back and seats that sold  within an hour of being finished.  It was a mighty pretty one, I must say, and I regret that I didn't have time to get a picture of it.  I'll use the same scheme for seat and back on another chair sometime soon.

     Quite a few folks looking at the new benches wondered about leaving them outdoors.  Personally, I don't think it's a good idea to leave something like this outside year-round unless it has a really hard finish...something like spar varnish.  I have stained wooden railings on my back  porch which get lots of exposure to the hard winter weather, and I refresh them with a new coat of spar varnish every October.  For something with a softer finish - wax or simple polyurethane - I tend to be conservative.  Wood is wood, after all, and exposed to enough extremes, it will do what wood does in Nature.  So if you really want to preserve a wooden object, it will take a bit of care on a regular basis...a new coat of wax or oil periodically should be all that it takes.  If faithfully cared for, wood can keep a "young" look for a long time.  For me, I don't mind if things begin to get silver or gray... kind of like me, I guess!

My first show of the spring was supposed to have been at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT.  Due to unforeseen circumstances, I had to cancel just before the show.  I was extremely disappointed, as I was really looking forward to being part of the Bruce Museum show for the first time.  If you are from the Greenwich area and made the trip to the show, I'm sorry to have missed you.  Hopefully, I'll be at the Bruce Museum spring show next year - or I may possibly see you in Westport in the fall, if I end up doing that show this year.  Keep an eye out for news of coming shows!  

Craft Festival Etiquette: Part One

 

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Where's that music coming from?

As you look through the Eric Garrison Rustic Designs website, you might like to listen to some of Eric's music.  Just go to the music section at the bottom of each page and click on a song.  The music will follow you as you move from page to page.  

An award-winning songwriter, Eric divides his time between his rustic furniture business and playing music.  His CD "Looking for Egypt" is available through www.CDBaby.com.  Or visit Eric's music website at www.ericgarrison.net for more information.  Happy Listening!