True to the quote on the masthead, we’re all over the map here at Sippican Cottage. But every once in a while I suffer a blow to the head, or some other pleasant diversion, and it reminds me to talk about what I’m doing all day when I should be answering my email. I make furniture.
I’ve made a lot of furniture over the last eight years. Hundreds and hundreds of pieces. The business is like a bicycle, and you keep pedaling while looking at your feet, and lose track of the landscape a little. I should know, but I don’t know how many states I’ve sent the stuff to at this point. There’s a little hole in the middle of the country that are strangers to me, still. I’ve never seen a Yeti, or a customer from North or South Dakota. They must live indoors there now; don’t they need furniture? I don’t know. I wish them well all the same, and lurk in the Intertunnel’s bushes, waiting to pounce on them if they pass by.
I’ve made some furniture that’s ended up in England and Canada, too, but I don’t sell furniture there. People bought it here in the states and took it with them and told me about it. Really nice people in Canada (are there another kind of people in Canada?) have offered to buy things from me fairly often if I could figure out all the paperwork. I couldn’t, so I haven’t. I know you can’t tell by reading what I write, but I’m not a dullard. It just requires more time than I have to figure it out properly, and is fraught with peril for a very small business like mine. One has to be conservative in your behavior to stay alive in the world of commerce these days. Many things are worth doing but there is no time. Maybe later.
I am ashamed to admit that I don’t even have pictures of all the stuff I make. I’ve put a lot of stuff into boxes with the muttered oath: I wish I’d taken a picture of that. If the camera battery is dead or the FedEx man’s arrival is nigh or it’s pitch dark or something, it goes out, and many times, out of my memory.
But lovely reader and commenter Leslie purchased a pair of tables last month — or was it the month before; what day is it? — and I managed to take a picture of them before they went the way of all lignin and cellulose and corrugated cardboard. I thought they were awful pretty. I made them for her special in all tiger maple with Pumpkin stain. Tiger maple is endlessly interesting stuff. No two pieces of it are quite the same, and so, they’re endlessly interesting to look at and challenging to work with. Leslie even found time to send me a snapshot of the little four-legged buggers in her home way out west where they don’t shovel. Lovely!
My business is sometimes anonymous, but less so than it used to be because I socialize with many customers here on my Intertunnel Logos Stand. It’s always piquant to see the things I make in their natural habitat, because a workshop is not the natural habitat of such things. Your house is.
I’m grateful to everyone that reads, and those that leave comments, and link here, and purchase things from Amazon through my portal which throws me a few bucks which we sorely need and appreciate, and everyone that’s kind to my children, and everyone that buys the furniture. I love you all more than my folks.