First Annual Open House

Saturday, May 14, 2016 from 10:00 – 3:00

Please join us for our first annual open studio.Ai?? Some of the events are;

Demonstrations – Sawmill demonstration, hand tool usage, blacksmithing by Bob Compton.

Gallery – Seconds, discounts on discontinued items, and special pricing on some pieces.

Studio Tour – Look behind the scenes and under the sawdust of our new studio.

Barn Sale – Our landlords Larry and Susan will be clearing out their barn.Ai?? They have many unusual items from old milk cans to an industrial sheet folder.Ai?? Check it out!

Hope to see you there!

Tom

 

Bowing into the Studio

If you happened to be at my studio when I first arrive, you might be surprised to see what I do first.

It goes back to my days of living in a Zen Temple, and studying martial arts. When entering the building, you would change into a training uniform, but upon entering the training area, be it a room or a matted area, you would always bow. Why do that? We don’t bow going into a gym or our living room.
It is because a training space, or dojo, is regarded as a sacred space. Not necessarily sacred in the sense of a church, or God. But sacred in the sense that this is a special place, a place due respect. A place where you leave the outside world at the edge of the mat, and step into another world. And the goal is to be 100% in that space when you are there. You also bow out of the space when you leave, for the same reasons.

When I enter my studio for the first time in the morning, I will put down whatever stuff I happen to be carrying in my hands, (Coffee, keys…) and go directly into the main shop area. There I do a full bow before entering. After the bow, I proceed to a little altar behind my bench. There I light some incense, and ask for the opportunity to do good work, and assistance in carrying that out.

Just one of many eclectic items on my Studio Altar.

Just one of many eclectic items on my Studio Altar.

Why do I do that? There are many reasons, some tied to my spiritual beliefs that I won’t go into now. The simplest answer is that I view my studio, and also my entire business, as an opportunity to learn and grow. I find that both wood and business can be unforgiving teachers where if you make a mistake or are doing something wrong, there are very real consequences. If my attention or drive falters, I am usually reminded in one way or another. My best work always comes when I am able to put the world down, and just create with my hands. Is that the norm? Hardly! Sometimes it feels more like the exception. But by bowing into the space in the morning, I am declaring my intent, regardless of how well I carry it out.

And a funny thing. Things always, always go better when I do it, and worse when I don’t.

Lastly, you might ask about the sax playing raisin. He is one of many objects I have on my altar. Someday I will go through each one and explain the significance.
This guy, for those old enough to remember, is a figure from a California Raisin promotion. He is there to remind me that even though I am not currently playing professionally, I am still a sax player.

That’s it for now. I hope to see you at Paradise City Arts!

Tom

Upcoming Shows

Paradise City, Northampton
May 24-26, 2014

Please stop by and visit our booth Memorial Day weekend. If you would like to come, please let me know, and I can provide you with discounted tickets. I will be sharing the booth with Bob Compton. I hope to have some new wall pieces, a new foot stool, and a new bar stool to show.

Kuklinski Woodworking is moving!

After almost 25 years at the Hall Tavern Farm in Charlemont, we are moving to a new location. Our new address is 1400 Mohawk Trail, in Shelburne, MA. We are in the process of renovating the building formally known as Jed’s Cider Mill. It is a beautiful location right on Rt. 2, with a stream running right behind the studio, and Kenburn Orchards’ Christmas tree farm in the background. The new space will provide many new advantages.

  • Increased shop space. The shop will have about 25% more floor area, allowing work to flow better through the shop, and space for more work benches.
  • Increased storage. I will now have a warm, dry place to store all the wood, furniture, and sundry items that are currently scattered all over the place.
  • Improved visibility. The studio is right off of the Mohawk Trail, with plenty of parking, and a sign to say we are here! It is just 2.5 miles outside of Greenfield, making it accessible to locals, as well as folks coming up 91 from Connecticut and NYC.
  • Saw Shed. Down back I have a shed to store my sawmill, and all the slabs that are air drying.
  • Gallery. And most of all, I am looking forward to finally having my own place to show my work. Once open, it will be primarily open on Saturdays and by appointment. During holiday and foliage season, we will increase hours. And from the gallery there will be viewing areas to see what we are currently working on. (Or sitting having a cup of coffee!)

As the work moves forward, I will be posting photos of our progress. And when we are done, there will be a big open house to show off our new digs. Stay tuned!