Showing in Fine Woodworking Exhibition at Museum of the Rockies

Hittin' The Big Time!

If you follow me on Twitter or FaceBook, you probably already know the exciting news. I was invited to show at a fine woodworking exhibition at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana. The show is currently going on and running 3 months until Jan 27th.

There is a total of 25 woodworking artists showing and I am very honored to be counted among them. They are certainly a group of high-caliber artisans. 

(You can click on the images for a larger version to capture all the details.)

The curator requested that I build a prairie chandelier for the exhibition. At first it was "chandeliers" - plural - because I had originally built a set of two. At a certain point I was told there would only be room for one over the dining table where it would be displayed, but by then, I already had the parts milled and joinery cut for two units. In the end, I only needed to assemble one and the 2nd chandelier lays mostly in parts with the assembly only begun.

It was better that I only had to build one because they are more technically challenging to assemble than it looks. That means it was taking longer than I thought and I was way behind, even for assembling just one chandelier. 

Magic Mike Bails Me Out-

Being that I was running behind, I enlisted the help of a good friend, Mike Pasini. He is a pretty talented guy that I can trust and get along with in the shop. If anyone is "the chosen one" to spend time in my shop - it is Mike. He also helped me out with the bookcase for charity earlier this year. 

OK, I really am understating Mike's help - he really saved my bacon! For those that followed me on Twitter and FB, they were getting a first-hand account of the drama as I worked non-stop and ran into unexpected problems with my compressor and the finish. 

I ended up pulling a few 30 hour days in the shop and barely got done in time. But, as it stands now, I have a prairie chandelier hanging on display for a fine woodworking exhibition in a museum setting! 

Opening weekend was great for me. I got to hang out with a couple dozen high-end woodworkers and share in some great conversation. It really nourished me as an artist.

One thing that became clear is this, we all seem to share a very similar experience as we make our living offering fine woodworking projects. My experiences are not unique, they are common to those that choose this life. And we cannot help but to express ourselves in our work and try to make a living at it. 

Be Sure To Check It Out!

I highly recommend checking out the exhibition, it runs until 27 Jan 2013 at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, MT.

For now, one thing you can enjoy are the artists' audio recordings. We each tell a little bit about our background and the works that we have on display. You can hear them at the Museum of the Rockies web page, just click on each artist name to hear that person's recording.

This parking garage stairwell tower in Cleveland, Ohio is the one I reference in my audio recording.

What Is The Secret?

For those that wonder how do you get into something like that, all I can say it is a lot of hard work in the shop growing as an artist and craftsman, and never underestimate the importance of making connections. I have not lacked when for hours spent in the shop, being honest with myself in my work, and networking. 

What you are seeing, is the glamorous result of a lot of hard work. I certainly don't want to discourage anybody, that aspires to achieve the same, I am just letting you know what it takes. 

That's all for now. Until next time, be safe in your own shop. 

Your friend in the shop, 

Todd A. Clippinger

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Bookcase for Charity

De'ja' vu

Last year I built a Shaker Bench for one of our favorite local charities. I was not going to make the deadline and Brian Havens flew out at a moment's notice to help me build & deliver the bench just in time to be fashionably late rather than just late. (See blog entry here at LJ.)

This year I started my project a couple of weeks early but things did not go as smoothly as I would have liked on the project nor my schedule. As a professional contractor my schedule is very dynamic and even with the best plans, things pop up and I get squeezed. Sometimes work gets added but deadlines do not move back to allow for the extra work to be done in a normal work day, so that means I work extra long days to fit it in. 

Introducing Mike Pasini

So this is where local woodworker, designer~craftsman, and good friend Mike Pasini steps in. He offered to bail me out and I very humbly accepted his help. Mike is a talented woodworker and designer~craftsman himself and I was so glad to have him join me in the shop. 

Working with Mike was a real joy and moral raiser for me since my schedule was overbearing. He brings good energy and creativity to the shop.  

Use Your Woodworking To Support A Cause

I highly recommend finding a local charity or cause that you believe in to support with your woodworking talents. It is very satisfying knowing you helped someone with your skills. (I will have to cover this topic more in the future.)

Bookcase is made of black walnut and curly, ambrosia maple.It brought in $600 at auction for one of our favorite local charities.

Special Thanks Goes To...

A&H Turf & Specialties of Billings, Montana for providing the final two boards of black walnut to complete the top of the bookcase. I was short this material and their support was appreciated. I always do a full donation of time and materials and it can get pricey. 

The name may not reflect it since their business has evolved over the years, but they are a great source for cabinet hardware, tools, and lumber. I buy all of my cabinet hardware and most of my material from them. Be sure to check them out, they are competitive and available on the internet now. 

If you call in an order, you are dealing with the same guys at the desk that serve me everyday since they do not outsource to a call center. Be sure to check them out - A&H Turf & Specialties.

Your Friend in the Shop,

Todd A. Clippinger

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