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 a Traditional Workshop seeks to develop the skills for all the apprentices, journey men, 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 family business, here are our artists and craftsman:
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 … 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.
Anna, is both a painter and a master seamstress building her own original designs in cloth, complimenting them and other work with her traditional style 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.
Meet Christopher (Journeyman):
Christopher is current studying for a double bachelors in Mathematics and Physics. He also holds certificates in Shop Safety, CAD, CNC routing/carving/sign making and industrial welding. When not studying he is our shop’s best wood turner and the right hand man for all our outdoor projects like the “Mangrove Mama’s Swamp house Playhouse”, “the Raccoon Saloon” and various Gazebos / Pergola. If he is not crafting projects in wood then he is living up to his nickname “Chainmail”; making chain-mail amour and jewelry.
Meet Jessica (Renaissance Woman):
Jessica recently graduated with a B.Sc. in International Management in Sweden. When is home she dabbles in band saw boxes, sewing , and the occasional watercolor painting. When Jessica was little she was notorious for seeing pictures and informing her parents that they could build or make that for her. Now she sketches most of the ideas and builds them herself.
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 for CNC or laser work we will tell you. We are also thankful for the fair weather we experience here in this part of Florida because ours is an outdoor shop, we do most wood and metal work under the trees in the yard and on the driveway in front of the house. However an afternoon thunder storm can really put a damper on our progress so we prefer to work with ample lead time for any custom project because we don’t miss deadlines.