Exposure in Thrillist.com

A Web Of Connections

You never know the connections that might be made from being in a show, exhibition, or getting published. It seems like it is never is a straight line in arriving to that point nor where you may go from there. It is more like a spider web of connections and interconnections. 

Since being included in the fine woodworking exhibition at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, I have all sorts of emails and contacts that have come my direction. One of them was from the executive editor of Thrillist.com. It is an online source for articles covering what's cool and happening in the world of art, entertainment, food, and products. In their own words "Thrillist Sifts Through The Crap...to find the best new spots to eat, drink and shop in your 'hood." 

People travel, and so does the executive editor of Thrillist, who lives in New York City. While visiting his family in Bozeman, MT he stopped in to see the fine woodworking exhibition at the Museum of the Rockies and was impressed enough that he had to give it some exposure in the Thrillist.com website.


I am one of the 6 artists shown in the article for my prairie chandelier. The picture included in the article was an image that shows the inspiration, conception, and final project.

Not long after the article was released, a man from Cleveland contacted me because he recognized the stairwell tower, and could not believe that it provided inspiration for such a fine project. He asked if I had contacted the architect that designed the structure, which I have not, I do not even know who the designer is. There certainly is potential to make more valuable contacts if I pursue this.

The Gold Nugget For Today

Here is the gold nugget for woodworkers that ask me "how do you do it?" This whole situation, including how I got in the exhibition, is the result of a series of connections and interconnections being made. It is the reward for a lot of effort and time invested in the shop building projects and then making connections to show people my work. It takes the ability to recongize an opportunity, and it takes effort to take advantage of it.

I will also admit, that it takes a bit of luck in making just the right connections, but that still does not happen without putting forth the effort.

Prairie Chandelier Inspiration.jpg

What's Good For One Is Good For Us All

I thought it was pretty cool not only to be included in the online article, but the fact that the world of fine woodworking and design got a boost from a main-stream source that is not just focused and centered on woodworking, which is usually the case. It helps to spark interest in the art of fine woodworking and keep it alive.

Check out the article at Thrillist.com, and also see what else they may have that might interest you. Thanks to the guys at Thrillist for giving the craft of fine woodwork & design the exposure! 

Now it's time to get motivated and get moving out to the shop to build something!

Your friend in the shop,

Todd A. Clippinger

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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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