The Story of the Missing 'K' as told by Jonelle
First of all, this story is being written under protest. This is the story of how the workshop became the worshop.
I consider myself a creative woman, so for Christmas one year I decided to make a sign for Wesley’s workshop. This was to be a gift from the children. So one afternoon I snuck away sneakily and borrowed Wesley’s wood burning tool. I saved a beautiful piece of pine that was due to be burned in our outdoor wood stove.
I began by stenciling the letters onto the board. I checked the clock and contacted Wesley to see when he would be home. I wanted to make sure I would have enough time to get the piece done. I had approximately 30 minutes to complete my dastardly deed, which I felt was more than enough time. I began wood burning the stenciled letters on the board and was quite pleased with the final result. I was impressed that I was finished with plenty of time before Wesley got home.
On Christmas morn, I was feeling rather smug that I had pulled this sly business off. Then, Wesley opened his gift…….
He was quite surprised and impressed with the sign for his workshop. He sat admiring his hand-made gift. He finally looked up at me and asked me if I could see anything missing from the sign. I told him that I didn’t see anything missing and was certain that everything was correct. I continued to look at the sign and finally saw the missing “K”.
I was very distraught that I had missed the “K” during my stenciling. I pleaded with him to let me flip the sign and redo it on the back. Wesley wouldn’t hear of it. He loved the sign the way it was, so he put it up on his workshop door and that is how his workshop became known as Dad’s Worshop.
Welcome to the Shop.
Thank you for your interest and for stopping by the Lost TreeHouse worshop. I enjoy it when company stops by to talk about the building process that I use to put the natural pieces together.
If you have been clicking around you may have been to the goods page and have seen our different branches with different products and styles.
This is a description of the processes of construction for the different branches.
The Signature branch is the most time consuming, but also the most rewarding for me. I use simple tools and craftsmanship, creating an item that has the look of something that could have been made 150 years ago. I use power tools as little as possible and on most pieces, not at all.
My wood of choice is dead standing hardwood, especially oak, which can be hard to come by but has such a unique quality about it that it is worth the search. Each twig, stick, and log tells a story of its hard life struggling through the harsh Wisconsin winters and twisting to find the sun in the summer. After dying, the wood is at the mercy of the elements for many years. This weathers the wood to an attractive and durable state.
After carefully picking pieces that are not too far into the decay process, we store them in a dry place for some time before we can actually start construction.
We begin by prepping the surface, removing decay and the loose material. Then everything is hand sanded.
Every joint is a new adventure. Besides a little glue, I use only wood for the joint. Every peg is handmade specific to the joint I am working on. When I choose to use a mortise and tenon joint, the wood is whittled down using a hatchet or knife.
Finally most pieces receive a simple hand-rubbed oil finish, which gives a very simple and natural look. On some pieces, such as dining table tops or towel rods, I may use a 6 to 10 step mat poly finish.
All these steps make for a long slow process, but I love the look. I believe letting the individual parts come together slowly allows the shape and form of the piece to be dictated by the grain and flow of the wood.
The Illumination Branch includes all the lighting that I do.
I try to create an organic look. For example, I could create a sconce that looks like it is growing out of a wall, or maybe a floor lamp where sticks are bending over to give you light.
I’ll use just about any species for my lighting, although I like the way the weathered oak looks the best.
Getting the cord through and finding different ways to securely attach the hardware can be challenging.
Many times I’ll come across a really unique piece that looks like it’s been growing and shaping itself for the opportunity to illuminate someone’s world. I just have to help it along .
The Twigified Branch consists of a simple and quicker building technique.
First we gather the brush which can be difficult to find. Sometimes I have to walk as far as 100 yards from my house. Truthfully, I use hazel brush which grows bountifully here in northern Wisconsin. It grows to around 6 feet tall and is quite strong.
If you have spent much time in the woods up here, you know what I’m talking about. Hazel Brush grows very thick and it can be very annoying trying to go on a nature hike when nature is constantly trying to hold you back and slap you in the face. This is also a favorite hangout for wood ticks.
This brush can provide an important habitat for wildlife but is also a very aggressive little shrub which will choke out any other tree trying to grow there.
We attach the hazel brush to rough sawn pine or barn boards. Usually, I will run a draw knife over these to smooth them off a bit, then I nail the brush to the boards. One piece of brush and a couple of boards is a flimsy prospect, but as you continue to crisscross and add more and more brush, the piece becomes quite strong.
I truly enjoy the opportunity of sharing my passion for natural form furnishings. If you would like to stop by the TreeHouse, and hang out with me in the Worshop at some point, feel free to contact us and we will set something up.