New look

Seat weaving, chair caning and wicker repair have taken over Hayloft Studio. With a line of chairs nearly two months deep, it seemed appropriate to revamp the website with a focus on seat weaving. I still have private drawing students and will continue to do so. Having students not only allows me to share my knowledge of figure drawing but also keeps me in the practice.

Here’s an egg basket I made with some left over reed.

And here’s the latest chair repair. Friends are always asking “Is that what you really want to do? All alone in your studio? Fixing chairs all day?” To that I say, “Uh, hell yeah!” I spend my day in a beautiful barn loft with giant windows overlooking gorgeous farm fields. I watch the bluebirds shopping for a proper nesting box in the spring. I smell the strawberries come into season early summer. I watch the woodchuck bringing her tentative little pups to the raspberry patch. I see an endless wave of budding potato flowers. Herons and bald eagles fly over the barn toward the river and ponds. Coyotes and peepers and frogs sing in the evening as the distant train passes through full of passengers heading to Vermont or NYC. I smell the deep rich earth of fields turned under in preparation of a restful winter and I watch those fields turn from a tender wisp of green to a tall and proud sea of sunflowers obediently following the sun. I see the sky fire spread as the sun sets, engulfing the distant hills in deep hues of purples and reds and the full moon light up the snow that has blanketed the fields for the winter.

And the birds, I absolutely love birds. I am visited by chickadees, robins, bluejays, crows, redwinged blackbirds, goldfinches, grosbeaks, various woodpeckers (including a pileated once), orioles, sparrows of all kinds, bluebirds, waxwings, brown thrashers, grackles, nuthatches, finches, etc. I’ve been graced with occasional visits from a cooper’s hawk, a barred owl, a kestrel, and a great horned owl.

There is no lack of critter activity either. There are my usual companions, the fiercely independent barn cat who freaks out if he doesn’t get a little lap time and the dogs who are continuously on patrol for said barn cat. He rolls about in the driveway just on the other side of the fence as the dogs bark frantically, working their hardest to protect us. The dogs also get an occasional whiff of elusive visitors like the possum that hides under the steps or the bunny that lives under the deck or the woodchuck who visits the berry patch. I hear coyotes in the back field, see deer prints in the mud and the dogs once sniffed out a fox den.

So, to answer the question. Do I get lonely? No. Nature has been my best friend since I was a baby sleeping under the stars with my family in the White Mountains. I am grateful that I can spend my days engaged in a beautiful and historic craft while surrounded by all the comings and goings of nature’s world that many people miss. I have no desire to jump into the fray of today’s manic life. I am content, enriched and fulfilled as the slow pace of my day keeps stride with the natural world around me.

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