Being useful

This was one of the virtues I learned from my grandmother, Alice Paquette.  She worked with her hands all of her life, and had some local fame in New England as an expert repairer of dolls.  Her father worked wood, as did her husband, my father’s step-father.  My father was trained as an engineer at Dartmouth College during and after the World War II, where he served as a SeaBee.  He understood how things worked, which I always admired.  The more I was drawn into the professional work of a historian, the more I needed to create material things by hand.  Some of the stuff I’ve made did not survive very long.  Some I never photographed.  What is here on my website are many of the things I have made in the past two decades.  In some cases I included my plans or sketches.  I usually sketch and re-sketch pieces as I am making them and discover that what I had planned to do would in fact be impossible or unwise.  Only once have I made a model, and that was for what was one of the most complicated pieces.  I have more things planned, but they have to wait their turn to come into being.

Block Stools and Tables, Oak or Chestnut (2018)