Snow shoes, Paddles, and Axes. Working The Creative


Last Christmas I made foot lockers for the boys. Built out of White Pine, covered with Vt. Soy Natural Coatings, and rounded out with hardware made by Aaron Bushey. The snow shoes are made of White Ash, and Black Cherry, and leather from Vt. Tubbs Co.

Last week, I wrote a bit about working with my neighbor, who makes the beautiful adirondack chairs. Spending time with him in his shop, honing my own skills, has me thinking about the creative aspects of working with wood.


An unfinished White Ash axe handle which was intern Elizabeth’s Christmas present. She is going to decorate the handle before varnish is applied.

This past Christmas, while making an axe handle for a present, I reflected on the items I have made over the years. Many  are really beautiful and a kind of art. I need to remind myself that part of the fun of building something, especially out of wood, is its versatility and figuring out how to build the first one. In my case there is often much trial and error. This trial and error is often frustrating, often rewarding, and I always learn something…though remembering just how I built something years ago, is another thing all together!


The end of a white ash canoe handle I made for Wesley when he finished an outdoor leadership course in eighth grade.

Whether it’s building snowshoes, drawing comics, writing songs, hammering together the farm stand, recreating airplane parts, or building adirondack chairs, I realize that I need to be creative, challenged, and to always be learning.

I have no idea what will  inspire me next…


This is a beech and black walnut block plane I made years ago.



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