My plans are almost complete! Muwhahahaha

The Chai-boy is almost complete. I feel like school boy with a bad case of “senior-itis”. I am so ready to get this project completed and out of sight. Why do I say that? I don’t know, I kinda feel like Dr. Frankenstein; I created this piece, I love it, I’m connected to it, yet I want it to go away. I do want it to be loved by someone, someone who will show it off and cherish it, that is the best I could ever hope for it. But as I have stated in an earlier blog, I have this strange love-hate relationship with everything I make. I love it, but the tiniest of flaws makes me feel horribly guilty and then I can’t bear looking at it. Yes, I know, I need to start saving for a shrink.

A customer was at the shop last night, so I showed him the Chai-boy and he was very impressed. He has a number of wealthy clients and he thinks he knows a client who might be interested in purchasing the piece. I hope I can sell it quickly, but I am not going to get my hopes up.

As an added bonus for the purchaser, I think I am going to have all the blog entries nicely printed up and bound so the buyer will have a complete history of the piece from the original drawings to the final photo. I think that would be a neat piece of provenance for the future owners.

I’ve also decided not to publish any more pictures of the piece until it is finally complete. I don’t want to show off my debutante until she is complete and ready to make your little heart go pitter padder when you see her in all her glory. (BTW, I don’t really think of my Chai-boy as a girl, I simply could not think of a better allegory). This leads me to my final dilemma – the photo session.

Right now, I have no idea of where or how I am going to photograph the piece. If I want to sell it and/or “show” it, I need good photographs. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m no photographer and I don’t have an eye for it. I could use some advice if any of you can offer it.

Now for the boring construction part of the blog entry:

The finish as been applied to the “Yud” bandsaw box, and the little drawer has been flocked the same color as the other drawers. Next, I will attached the drawer pull and wait for the flocking to fully cure.

I’m hoping the magnets will be here on the 15th. I already have the mortise made on the bandsaw box so I hope the magnet will drop right in with a minimal amount of effort. Once that is done, I can lay out the exact position to mortise the magnet on the “Ches.” I will epoxy the magnets in the mortises, then wait for it to cure and I am done!! We’ll have to wait and see how well this plan works, won’t we?!


About yaakov

Husband, Abba, Furniture Maker, Turner, Bookseller, and all around working stiff.
This entry was posted in Chai Boy Journal and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to My plans are almost complete! Muwhahahaha

  1. bob says:

    Good luck, i hope to see a photo soon.

  2. Y,
    I had a shop in California. It was one of those big secure self storage places where you rent units with the roll up doors. It was gated, with a key pad and closed at 9PM, but I had been a tenant for so long that they let me have 24 hour access. At nine each night, I would practice my saxophone for three hours and either work all night or go home. I lived alone and sometimes slept during the day worked at night when it was quiet and the facility was empty.

    One night I heard noises and it freaked me out. I stopped playing and listened, the noise stopped. This happened a few nights in a row and I knew the place was empty, so it was very disturbing. One night when I heard the noise, I threw the door open to find a beautiful young woman standing outside. It scared the heck out of me!

    I ask, Who are you? She said, I’m Carol and I love listening to you play. I ask, How did you get in here? She said, I have been a tenant here for fifteen years. I said, I have been here for seventeen years and I’ve never seen you. She said, Because I only come here at night, I have 24 hour privileges. I said, what do you do and where is your unit? She said, I am an artist and I’m way over in the back, I walk around at night to take breaks and get air.

    I said, I hate people listening to me practice, go away and don’t bother me you scared me to death. A few nights later she came over when I had the door rolled up and was milling material. She apologized for scaring me and invited me to come to her studio for tea. In an hour, I went down to her unit way in the back.

    The place was jammed packed with antiques, Persian carpets, knickknacks, Objects D’art, old picture frames, feathers, beads, dried flower bouquets and interesting, cool stuff hanging from the ceiling and on the many book cases and curio cabinets. There were candles and insense lit.

    A path led to a well lit work space where there was an easel and a cluttered table. It reminded me of a girl’s bedroom with trinkets, ribbons, keepsakes in ornamental boxes, costume jewelry and special books with a locked diary on a writing table… only on steroids.

    Carol served up tea on a delicate old mismatched set of cups, saucers and teapot. We talked about were we grew up and came to do what we do, then she showed me the oil painting she was working on.

    It was a picture of a Magnolia Blossom about 24” square. It was stunning in it’s realism. The way it reflected light made it look three dimensional and alive. She showed me another work area where she had cameras and photographic equipment. Her thing was to capture photographic images and then paint them in oils. I was pretty blown away!

    After that Carol used to come over at midnight and knock on my door to see If I wanted tea. I began to call her the Vampire lady because she only came out at night. Sometimes I would crank up the stereo an play old Blue Note Bebop records from the ‘50s of the tunes I was working on. We used to have long conversations about art and craft.

    I ask her what she was working on. She said she was still working on her Magnolia painting trying to get it perfect. She was worried that she had committed to showing something at an art function soon and It might not be ready. I thought it looked done when I saw it a month ago. I ask how long she had been working on it and she said seven months.

    I said, SEVEN MONTHS!! Are you kidding me? She said no. I said, Man I try to crank my stuff out as fast as I can. I always make mistakes no matter how hard I try. The more I do, the more I try to stretch the envelope of my design ideas and skills. I’m always trying to push myself and take risks. The more I do, the faster I get, the more tricks and short cuts I learn. The more I do, the faster and better I get at fixing my mistakes.

    Carol said, NO,NO! I want my work to be perfect! I said, there is no such a thing. I have a huge body of work where you can clearly see a logical progression of ideas and levels of finish, but it all has flaws. If I take too long I won’t be able to sell it for enough to pay for rent, blade sharpening and glue. She looked at me aghast… Oh, I don’t think I could sell it. Why not? She said, I’d have to get at least $50K… and I don’t think I want to part with it just yet. I love it too much.

    And so our arguments went for many months. Eventually I found out she had a trust fund and didn’t have to work for a living at all. Still, I love playing the horn and after years of playing in bars for no real money, for people that weren’t listening, working for club owners that viewed musicians likes cook, bartenders and waitresses… I gave up, and do it because it is who I am. Carpentry is how I try to makie a living.

    As a musician, with every sound I make, the vibration decays into the universe and is gone… until I make the next one and the next one. I have to let it go and make more vibrations. I get one shot at each note… but I can make as many of them as I want.

    As craftsman or artists we have a shot at some kind of immortality, in that the pieces we create may well out last us. It’s up to somebody else to judge the artistic merits. Hey some of the best recordings were live with mistakes, warts and all, but they have soul and are classics.

    I wonder how many Carol’s there will be or if she ever finished and signed her magnolia. Not too long after that, I moved to Oregon and she moved to and island in British Columbia.

    In a hundred years, somebody will bring your piece to the Antiques Road Show and the expert will say… Well this is definitely a Yaakov! Very nice example of his early work… it’s the original Chai-boy! Very, very collectable. With the digital record as provenance, I’d say at auction this should get $250K conservatively, and I would insure it for three hundred! Thanks for coming in.

    • yaakov says:


      What nice story! Thanks for sharing that very sage advice. It’s always a treat to get comments on a blog, like a 365 day chanukah!

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