views of the shop

Tonight I need to send a couple views of my shop to some folks…they had questions about the setup. So not a real blog post, and lousy photographs for sure. But Sarah & Conor, here you go.  

This time of year, my shop often turns into a hodge-podge of stuff…but generally it’s a pretty good space to work in. It’s about 13’ x 27’ but windows only on one side…and I have my back to them! Makes photography tricky; lots of backlighting.

 I have four benches in the shop, but most of them are for displaying stuff, and storage, except for the few times I have an apprentice. I keep a lot of stuff in the shop, keeping in mind that it functions as a museum-display as well as the place where I make stuff. So the more there is to look at, the better, I say.

shop corner


This corner has an Ulmia workbench, that usually stores a large, in-process project. In this case, it’s the top to the MFA cupboard. Then the lathe stand here, near the railing. During the off-season, (now) if I am not turning, the lathe collects stuff on it, and around it. Things like the lights and portable stereo are non-existent during the 8 months the museum is open to the public.

my workbench


this is the area where I do most of my work, the bench is 8 feet long. the bulk of the everyday tools are right on it, or right behind it. You can see the windows behind me, making it hard to shoot photos. What you end up seeing on the blog are often carefully composed and/or cropped. things like pattern sticks for turnings and such hang above, but it’s a lousy ceiling for that…last shop I had there was a nice open framed ceiling, just waiting to nail stuff up there.

between the windows


Here’s what I mean about the windows, it’s hard to pull back to get a larger shot without them getting in the way. One way is to shoot between the benches, using the light from the large window – but when real photographers come, we can usually work around the problems, and make it look pretty good.

view down the shop

6 thoughts on “views of the shop

  1. Peter

    I have finally got round to checking out your blog – wish I had done so sooner but….

    You have posted some really interesting stuff. It has become my official lunch break read and I am trying to catch up on the archive material, will certainly keep on top of the new.


  2. Mike – the fence is to keep me in for certain, but folks don’t usually have to be kept in their workshops – but somewhere around 100,000 schoolkids per year – need I say more?

    Kari – the shavings go either to be dumped out in the woods; or they are burned in the recreated 17th-century houses in the museum. there’s about a dozen houses, so they can use the shavings up pretty easily.

    Chris – glad you made it. Now I need to get to you to pony up for the Regional Furniture dues…I hope you enjoy the blog. There’s one you will definitely like, in which a British reader realized what his local village church was fitted with…carved 17th-c oak!

    There;s a search button on the right-hand side of the blog to help you find your way. By now, there’s a bunch of stuff.

  3. Hmm…Plymouth. Haven’t been there in 20 odd years. I guess it’s about time to saunter down there from Dedham and check out who is doing what? Soon as the ice thaws and the warm winds blow again in New England.


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