Wow! What a Day.

Thank you, everyone came by to talk and see my work today at Limmud Boston, 2012.

Special thanks to those who liked something well enough to make it theirs.

Talking with you all today made me itchy to bring the store up to the level of my work. I’ll be completely redoing the store, and items will be appearing shortly.

Again, thank you for a wonderful day.

Opening hour at Limmud

I’m set up, and ready to rock. So many people to talk with.

The day is here, everything is set up. If you are in Boston, consider coming to Limmud. The conference is in full swing, with activities throughout the day. Walk in registrations are welcome. And, when you come, stop by and say hello.

Will I see you at Limmud Boston?

Limmud Boston is coming this weekend, beginning with Shabbat eve activities spread throughout greater Boston, and culminating is a full day of intense and varied Jewish learning.

Limmud Boston is the first time I’ll have carvings with me, and have a chance to meet you in person.

Over the forty years of my professional life, I’ve developed many products, and attended trade shows in the US and Europe to personally discuss these products with customers. Every time I come back with ideas. Every time I’ve come back energized and excited.

Every time, I’ve gone with total confidence that the products were valuable, and the best that we could make. This time is not different. I am proud of my product. I’m confident that others will see the value.

Yet, this time I am acting on my own. I designed the carvings. I designed, fabricated, and programmed the equipment. My hands have performed the final steps, applied the finishes, caressed the wood as the surface seems to soften under each finer grit of sandpaper. My eyes have witnessed the wood come alive under finish. Without a team, other than Barbara, I will stand alone at my table, eager to meet each of you face-to-face.

Cherry is Here, and Different, Again.

Thank you for stopping by.

I have, again, Cherry for the large carvings. I also again face the beautiful reality that every carving, even those based on the same design, is unique.


Especially in the large sizes, the slabs are fairly rare. There are only a few saw mills in the US that cut and stock wood of the size I need, and they don’t carry “lumber” of those sizes. Instead, I buy a slab or flitch, typically with live edges. These are not of uniform width, aren’t closely cut to size, and the thickness seems to change with the day.

Further, the standard for measuring thickness seems rather loose. In the case of finished lumber, the thickness is the stated thickness, minus 1/4″. So, 5/4 lumber measures 1″ thick. 6/4 lumber measures 1 1/4″ thick.

With Slabs and flitches, it varies. Sometimes 6/4 material is 1 1/2″. Sometimes it is thicker, and needs to be planed to the thinner size. Sometimes, it is thinner, closer to the 1 1/4″ of finished lumber.

How does this affect the carvings?

I adjust the design to suit the wood, perhaps by cutting deeper, or changing angles. I think I will also start cutting the designs to match the width, rather than staying with a common size. This opens the design possibilities, but makes it more difficult to describe what I can make. Expect to see some changes in the store to reflect the variety.

If you are inclined, send a note or comment.

— Carl

Wide Cherry

At this moment, I have no wide cherry wood ready for carving. I have some other species, and hope to have a small shipment of cherry soon.

The wide wood for the 15 1/2 ” carvings is much harder to find than the wood for the 11″ carvings.

My sources for wide wood usually have other, more exotic species available also. If your tastes go to bubinga, wenge, butternut, purpleheart, or other beautiful woods, drop me a note.

Cherry is a Beautiful Wood

Ok, this is no surprise to anyone, but cherry is beautiful.

Tonight I put the first coat of polyurethane on an 11″ cherry Seder plate. I had spent much of the afternoon sanding and smoothing, watching the wood change as I moved up the grits. The Seder plate was smooth with some warmth, but the color was disappointing. It looked pale, with almost no color.

Then, the poly hit the wood, the color popped, and the grain took on shining depth. The plate bloomed like the sunrise.

— Carl

Peace in the workshop

Good evening, and welcome to my workshop.

Tonight, I’m testing out the new design of the 11″ Seder plate.

I love this process — trying a new design, and watching it emerge from the wood.

When I was a photographer, or more specifically when I worked in my darkroom with all that magical wet chemistry, there was a moment that always touched my sense of awe. I would expose the paper, slide it into the developer, and nothing would happen. Nothing. Finally, through the light brown developer I would see first the darkest shadows, then the complete image emerge from the paper. As the image met reality, there was a perfect fusion of the technique and the vision, the practice and the art, the left and right brains in harmony.

So too, this gives me that same sense of personal balance. The Seder plate begins to emerge: Seder plate forms under the cutter

Doing this using a machine I built with my own hands, forming a design from my own vision, through countless stages of artistic and technical refinement truly places my life in harmony.

This plate, or one similar to it, is available through my store.

If you have a thought, drop me a line.

— Carl