The mundane and the beautiful

In between portrait commissions and designing quirky new shepherd’s huts, we were approached by Richard, the stone mason nextdoor, with a request to design and build a mason’s easel.

That’s a pretty straightforward assignment, right? It’s yer basic tripod, not unlike an artist’s easel except it needs to be beefy enough to hold a great 40lb lump of slate or whatnot, while the mason works his chisel magic on it. Four whacking great wooden beams, basically, give or take a hinge. Not hugely thrilling, as design projects go. Or so I thought.

I paid no attention to Steve’s progress on constructing this seemingly mundane commission. When I saw the finished item yesterday, I was astonished at the genuinely beautiful piece of furniture before my eyes. Check out those dovetails. And all the extra detail finishing.

It’ll be a functional, hardworking beast, for sure—which was all that was ever asked for. The timeless beauty of this easel is, well, just a bonus. Just because.

I, of all people, shouldn’t have been surprised: Sometimes it’s the humblest everyday objects that are the very nicest, when they’re made with love.

May lots of happy chiseling happen here.

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