Did you know that I make stuff out of wood? Things like tables and lamps and paintings?
I use reclaimed wood from the dumpster or Habitat for Humanity or from people’s remodeling jobs. I also love to use wood that Coleman and my BFF, Thor and I actually mill from trees that have fallen prey to our dreadful Texas drought. Actually, sometimes they’ve just died from old-age, too. Because they do just die of old-age sometimes. I remember when I first heard that and let it digest. Of course they would just have a life span like any other creature, but I never really had thought about it before.
Anyway, I love to make things out of wood. I went to Austin Community College and studied woodworking for a number of semesters. I even took some welding there. I also apprenticed with the delightful and fun Mark Macek a couple of years ago. I’ve even gone to Maine to study at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship. I make stuff in class, on my own and with Thor. I am very much hoping to go in with some people on a warehouse space soon, so that we can have our own woodworking shop.
In addition to the furniture, I use smaller scraps of wood for lamps and for my pet portraits (Likeness Not Guaranteed ©). Commissions are totally available and the price is quite reasonable. Especially since you’re getting a hand-crafted work of art. Which may or may not look like your pet. I am trying to capture the soul of your beloved animal and am, in fact, an untrained artist. However, no one has asked for their money back yet, which I take as a very good sign.
Anyhow, the purpose of my even telling you all about this is because I’m going to get to show my stuff at East Austin Studio Tour this year!! Yes!! Amazing!! A dream come true!!! For real. Why? Because it was at East Austin Studio Tour a few years ago that I got the idea in my head to really pursue woodworking. My BFF, Thor and I were visiting Mark Macek’s studio and he had a woman apprentice and I thought, “Wow, women get to do this? I really want to do this.” So I asked Mark what it would take for me to get to help him out some day and he told me to go take some classes and so I did. Thor had been encouraging me and then there was Mark being all sweet, too, and so I just jumped in. And the rest is history.
East Austin Studio Tour takes place over the course of the second and third weekend in November. You get on your bike and you bike all over the east side snooping around in people’s actual work spaces, talking and asking questions and getting super inspired. If you’ve done it you know what I mean. If you haven’t done it I highly suggest that you check it out this year. You don’t have to do it by bike but it really is the most fun that way, I think.
So, this year I get to actually be in the darn thing. Jennifer Chenowith at Fisterra Studio has generously invited me to show at her awesome home. And my band, Gretchen’s Disco Plague (It’s Infectious!) is going to play in her backyard on Sat. November 10th for free. You can go look at art all day and then after the tour is over my band is going to kick back with some improvised tunes for your musical enjoyment. So come on out in November and talk with me and lots of other Austin artists. It really is a special event.
And yes, I do really live on the east side. Since 1985.