From Our Family to Yours
What makes a “Master’s Workshop”? Years of practice, as well as experience in a number of trades; stained glass, carpentry, sewing, painting, typography, home building, metal work, carving, forming plastic… A craftsman is not a specialist in one skill, but works to build a repertory of specialized skills that complement each other; and Traditional Workshop seeks to develop the skills for all the apprentices, journeymen, craftsmen and masters in the shop – hence our name “Traditions Workshop”. But having the tools, the skills and the people is not enough; there still needs to be a spark, something that allows the craftsman to see things not as they are but as they could be. A sense of wonder that allows them to see beauty that would otherwise be hidden; and always a desire to learn and discover.
That spark came to Traditions Workshop with our first child. The world became a different place when looking at it through the eyes of a child. Trees are taller, grass is greener the sea breeze is fresher. God could have chosen to give us wisdom but instead He choose gave us children and thereby taught us wisdom.
Children are also a catalyst. The young man wanted a boat, so we built “the good ship lollypop”, the little girl sees a picture of a bed that she likes and remarks “Daddy can build that”; then there are band performances that need a bit of color, dance shows that want props, and theater events that have to have sets and costumes (Big Sets!, lots of Costumes!). A myriad of projects that evolved into Traditions Workshop and then somewhere along the way there was the discovery of what God has hidden in the wood, in the stone, in the glass, in the paint; that’s when we first started making the Davidic style lyres. Other instruments followed, then clothing, the boxes, dresses, furniture pieces … and the process continues with new discoveries every day.
Traditions Workshop is a hybrid shop, power tools can be found here but so can adze, hand planes, saws, scrapers needle and thread. We take pride in our work and all projects are handmade, but we also value time so we will use the most appropriate tool we have available to accomplish the job at hand, if we do outsource a part of a project we will tell you.
Meet the Team
David is the Master Craftsman of Traditions Workshop. His experience began at age of 12 when he started “throwing a hammer” for his father. After learning home, barn and fence construction from his dad he joined the USAF which allowed him to travel and thus began a life long process of learning crafts from the different cultures he experienced. He picked up stain glass design and typography in England, studied carving in Germany, timber-frame construction in Canada, blacksmithing in the Carolinas … and the process continues as he meets new people and sees other’s work. During one of his travel adventures he was in Stockholm and he met the love of his life, Anna. David teaches woodshop (homeschooler class), blacksmithing, and apprenticeships.
Christopher is the right hand of the shop. Starting as an apprentice in the woodshop at 8 he quickly became skilled in small scale projects, and helping on the larger ones. By 13 he became a journeyman, learning the lathe from a local master. In high school he helped design and build the theater sets for all school products, while spending some summers as a journeyman on 30A. While at university he earned certifications in: Shop Safety, CAD, CNC routing/carving/sign making and industrial welding. After working in New Orleans for a few years as a shop steward for a start up building amphibious cars, he has rejoined Traditions Workshop, specializing in historic restorations, and blacksmithing. If he is not hanging around the shop, then he is living up to his nickname “Chainmail”; making chain-mail amour and jewelry. Christopher teaches blacksmithing (specialized in weapons), and woodturning.
Anna, is both a painter and a master seamstress, and knows her way around the shop. Growing up in the forests of Småland she learned foraging, and herb identification. She took part in the growing of flax, turning it into fibers, spinning it, and using a loom to make textiles. Her father showed her blacksmithing, while her grandmother, and mother taught her everything from sewing, to crocheting. Nowadays she builds her own original designs in cloth, complimenting them with traditional Swedish folk art painting. She not only paints cloth, wood & glass but has also done a number of murals in our home and in several of the schools around town. Her expertise in textiles includes drop spindle, creating yarn and threads for her designs from materials ranging from wool to corn. Anna teaches drop spindle, textile, leatherworking, and sewing classes.
Jessica usually is hiding in the back office overseeing everything from admin to marketing. When she isn’t dealing with the back office work you can find her in the shop creating everything from bandsaw boxes to blacksmith jewelry. Her skillsets include designing and sewing garments, occasionally conscripting Christopher’s chainmail skills. Jessica teaches some of our blacksmithing classes, including our female only classes.
Jennifer is Traditions Workshop cheerleader, or if you ask her: the shop owner. You can usually find her dancing around in the breakroom at the shop, occasionally sweeping the floors, and sometimes helping David on small projects. She also is very happy to help by painting the shipping boxes.