Oh man............hook-line-and-sinker........this past November, in Castle's shop, I had the pleasure to sit-in and discuss, 2 of the wood rockers. The units were still in the white, just outside of finishing. Others were still at the benches in various stages. One thing I don't see is a lighting piece we discussed, it either wasn't shot by the blogger or its being saved for England. Friedman reps Castle and does all his shipping out of the Gallery.
What doesn't get picked up in the photo's, is the scale that the rocker's are built in. These are big pieces. To be honest, after 30 years, I have limited experience at the visual of furniture on a larger scale. Being so used to building to a standard American residential scale, seeing larger pieces kinda questions your visual for a moment. It was stimulating.
The wood rocker's are extremely well balance. The depth of our conversation got into the different sitting positions in these rocker's. Relaxed sitting back, sitting forward on the edge, legs crossed, sitting sideways left and right, entering the chair, exiting the chair. An opportunity I won't forget.
JL is right, Wendell Castle is bait for me, I don't talk of him as much as I'd like too, but just this past week, Eli gave me a call and we talked WoodExpo and of course shop. Castle came up in discussion. I'm not sure how else to say this, but in our conversation, Eli had mentioned that he'd had heard that Castle is a tough character and cagey, I agreed. But while everybody else is husseling work for works sake, or chirping on the how to do it because they can't, at 77 years old, Wendell Castle is still kicking our asses. As I mentioned to Eli, he's tough and cagey, but that's because he's not done yet. He's still competing. That's what I respect the most.
One of the issues that we contend with in experimenting and trying new pieces is finding a venue. Simply put its expensive. This is a factor I always come back to when I think of Tommy and Eli's WoodExpo. Somewhere in all this Tommy has provided a venue to get numerous eye's on your work for the minimal cost of just your lodging and meals. If you are truely in this business or want to be, Tommy has planted the seed here for a venue that could possibly be the place where the craft is pushed to new levels. The place where the American woodworker wants to show and test to see if they have the right stuff. Coming back to Castle, he would love to see a venue like Tommy's vision, just to see who his American competition is.