early August update

My newest thing is being treated for Lyme disease. Found it not by a bulls-eye tick bite, but from swollen knees and ankles. I’ve been pretty badly hobbled for a week or more and am now on the mend. 

I had been moving along all right. I was planing up stuff for cupboard #2 and finishing up the joined carved chest and its videos. So if you’re wondering where the next video is, right now it’s only in my head. It’s going to take a bit of time before I am up to tackling that level of work. The chest sits there, with its drawer opening mocking me. 

I hate when the furniture mocks me

I did finish up a Windsor chair before my legs went south on me. One of Curtis Buchanan’s democratic arm chairs. I still substitute a different tenon on the crest, and yes, Curtis, it takes two extra tools to do so. My arms were a slightly different shape than his, mostly because when I first made one of these chairs, I made a mistake and ended up with a leftover arm. So just matched that arm this time. 

pine seat, red oak arms, hickory for the rest

Curtis started this democratic chair years ago when he was working on a project with Green Wood in central America. Then shelved it and brought it back out a few years back. Since that time, it has taken off and become a favorite chair for many makers. https://www.curtisbuchananchairmaker.com/store/p40/Full-Scale_Drawings%3A_How_to_Make_a_democratic_Arm_Chair.html

I first saw a shaved windsor-style chair in the late 1980s done by Daniel O’Hagan. I then copied that notion of shaving instead of turning and grafted it onto a sackback chair, dated 1989. 

1989 sack back

Having concentrated on Curtis’ versions of the side chair & arm chair for the past couple of years, I keep thinking back to Daniel’s versions. Here’s a sketch of one of his chairs from 1983. 

Daniel O’Hagan’s rustic windsor 1983


Last week we held Plymouth CRAFT’s first workshop since January 2020. JoJo and Sean came over from the UK for two 2-day classes sandwiched around a small gathering we called “Spoon Day”.

JoJo Wood

It was all great, except for the heat. People were thrilled to be together in person. During one of our dessert-breaks they gave us a nice presentation about their work with/as Pathcarvers – https://www.pathcarvers.co.uk/ Very inspiring. 

Re: Plymouth CRAFT – before you ask – no, we don’t know what or when next classes will be. And that goes double for “Will there be a Greenwood Fest?” The best way to get that news is to be on Plymouth CRAFT’s email list. You’ll only hear from us when we have something to say. https://www.plymouthcraft.org/contact

knife grips in the shade


I have 2 boxes and a ladderback chair for sale. They’ve been here a while so I reduced the prices by $200. The butternut box was called for back in June, but there was a mis-communication. So it’s still here.

butternut box

And the birds. For weeks and weeks there’s been Carolina wrens (Thryothorus ludovicianus) in & out of the shop. I saw them hauling in nesting material, then I could never tell if they actually nested. Well, they did. This was yesterday

14 thoughts on “early August update

  1. Hi Peter, I am sorry to hear about the Lyme disease and glad to hear that you are on the mend!I miss those dinners with you and Bob. Leslie Dockeray

  2. Much to love in that post, Peter, Lyme disease aside. The wren (perched on the Plymouth Craft hat) was icing on the cake.
    About the chair sketch. I take it that it’s Daniel’s sketch on one of his thousands of note cards. Was he sketching an old chair for reference or one of his finished chairs for future reference? Did he take any/many photographs of the pieces he made?

  3. Peter, so glad to hear you’re doing better! Karen really enjoyed last week and meeting you all. Hope to see you soon after you recover! Just love the wrens!!

  4. So sorry to hear about the lymes disease hope it all works out alright. You get the best bird shots!! Thanks so much. I can’t believe that lil wren has 5 lil babies to feed and herself. Lucky to have Jojo over too, I hear good things about pathfinders.

  5. Sorry to hear about your health issues – best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery! Take it slow and please don’t push yourself. No matter the frequency, your work and posts are always a source of great joy and inspiration. Best wishes from the Old World!

  6. I had the characteristc red circle (well, half of my body when I went to the second GP, the first one did not recognise it for what it was) around a bite, though I never registered I had been bitten (here some Moskitos carry the disease, not only ticks)… As my brother in law always says: now you know what it is, and there is a therapy, and it should work out.

    Hope you recover soon! Meanwhile enjoy the sun and birds! We had coal tits nesting on the balcony, and some other birds checking out spots close to the terrace (but no nest). Next to the front door we had blackbirds :)

  7. Carolina Wrens are a great joy. They are still wild and panic if one walks too close. (We caused one nest to fail as they made the nest on top of our entrance night light. Anyone walking in/out or knocking on the door frightened the wrens.)
    Besides being loud for such a small bird, their various calls/songs are lovely.

    The medicines prescribed for knocking out lyme disease are what really knock the stuffing out of you.

    Get well soon!

  8. Speedy recovery for you and thanks for the video of the wrens. It was great to watch. It’s nice to see the local wildlife up close but I don’t think I have had any quite that close! There are a resident wattlebird and magpie currently in our small backyard doing caterpillar control with the veggies and the obligatory willy wagtail, always one or two around. The first two don’t always get on with the occasional visiting parrots and galahs.

  9. Peter,

    Mend well and soon. Look forward to seeing you in the near future at a (yet to be scheduled) Plymouth Craft Event.

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