Des Geulasse is such a huge supporter of the maker movement and the future of tomorrow. Primrose and I are obsessed with spaces like Etsy, Reddit and Brit+Co because they are total game changers in how creativity is viewed by humanity. I think it’s really important to show parents and other adults that it’s okay to follow an unconventional life path, that sometimes it’s better to be happy and die young and poor rather than live a long, normal life that will most likely be filled with mediocrity (yes mom, I do still think I made the right decision).
In honor of the maker movement, we decided to reach out to some amazing people we know and give you readers true insight into skills you may not be familiar with in order to inspire.
We will start things off with a man we met recently while shopping at a Home Depot. He was pushing a shopping cart and we liked the way he looked so we followed him until he asked us to stop. Obviously we didn’t stop, we followed him home and forced him to tell us about his life in true Geulasse fashion. And how lucky we were indeed to make his acquaintance- read the interview below and stick around for a killer DIY at the end!
Who are you?
My name is Chuck Smith. I make things out of wood.
How did you get into the wood working business?
When I was a young boy I spent a lot of time in the woods and didn’t have many friends. To keep myself company I carved out some friends from some wood I found. I’ve been working with wood ever since.
What are you life passions?
I like carving wood, welding, tanning leather, knife making, and figure skating.
What are your life goals?
I want to create good things that last and people appreciate. I also want to land a triple lutz.
What achievement or success are you most proud of?
I planted a tree when I was 5, waited 20 years, and then cut it down and turned it into a desk.
Do you think wood is still relevant in this day and age?
Wood is as relevant as ever. Plastic is for suckers.
Do you plan on retiring from wood working?
I’ll die first.
What advice would you give to our readers about living life to its fullest?
Make something with your hands. Preferably out of wood, steel, and/or leather.
Do you have any fashion advice for a future wood worker?
Overalls are the only pants you’ll need.
Today Chuck will be teaching us all to make one of his famous, hand detailed, all natural, wooden coasters. I don’t think the pictures even do them close to justice!
Chuck: I start with a stump. I pick the stump myself from a forest. I use only the biggest stumps I can find. I like to measure the stump. Once I’ve measured it and I’ve decided I like it I draw a circle in the middle so I can capture it’s beauty. This circle is also where I will carve.
Chuck: Carving takes a long time. I use a chisel and a hammer to chip away. The process takes about 20 hours. I will take approximately one break during the process. I use my break to eat dinner. Then I go back to carving.
Chuck: This stump took 18 hours to carve. Not bad. I got four pieces of coaster out of it. That is better than usual.
Chuck: When I have my coasters ready I will shave them. I like them to be smooth and soft, like coasters should be. They are almost ready. But first, I use a hot metal rod to draw on them. This is very difficult because if you mess up too much you could run out of coasters and have to find a new stump and start over. I messed up one but luckily I did not mess up on the last three.
Chuck: This is easy to do at home. You will just need a hammer, a chisel and a hot iron rod. You will also need a large stump. The largest you can find.