This phrase can apply to just about any endeavor (done impeccably, that is). Being a fine craftsman isn't necessarily limited to the scope of making "crafts". It's about how one makes anything... a meal, a painting, an essay, an electronic gadget or even a piece of software.
And when one is looking for a product, it always pays off to wait until finding the piece that is crafted well. In this particular case I AM talking about something that falls into the traditional definition of "craft." For a couple of years now I've been keeping my eye open for a nice quilt rack to display quilts at my home or studio, instead of keeping them folded up in the basement or layered unseen on the guest bed. I would pop my head into antique shops on the rare occasions I found myself near any, troll on Etsy and even see what I might find in more mundane home goods stores. But nothing I found seemed to fit both my ideal aesthetic AND quality makemanship (sure that's a word, right?). And for those of you who don't know me so well, by "ideal aesthetic" I really mean anything in between (but not including) country primitive and futuristic minimalist. My house is west coast craftsman style, and the things in it are a hodge-podge of furnishings gathered over many years and by various members of my family, so you can see I am really not striving for magazine-ready design.
As luck would have it this year's International Quilt Market and Festival in Houston fell right around my birthday and my mom invited me to join her for a birthday celebration weekend. How could a girl resist?? Mom time AND quilts?? Also, being aware of my ongoing search for a worthy quilt rack/ladder, my mom suggested we might see some at the vendors' mall at the show. Well, we sure did see some. Not many, but some. Mostly antiques, which though beautiful (in some cases), were not sturdy enough for my needs. And then there was Booth #1629 - DWR Custom Woodworking. I kind of wish I had taken a picture of his booth right now, but honestly it wasn't all dressed up or anything — just packed with samples of his work in the forms of quilt racks, wall-mounts and quilt ladders. Simple and striking and beautifully constructed from what we could tell. Enough to make me want to swing back the following day and commit.
About a day or two before Christmas, among their mad dash with holiday gifts, A Fed-Ex truck stopped in front of my house and deposited a 6 or 7 foot by 6" square package. MY QUILT LADDER! And it is everything I had hoped:
Beautiful finish that blends perfectly with my floor and other wood furniture.
Attention to details, making sure the various elements fit together just so.
And it all adds up to a piece that I will be proud to display in my home, and have actually made room for in my little house, assuming our new dog doesn't mess around with the quilts too much (he's more interested with the quilts actually on the couch, though I haven't given him too much opportunity to play with this set-up).
I consider myself pretty conservative with my product endorsements, but I will gladly recommend this craftsman, David W. Reiner in New Britain, PA, to anyone in search of a handmade wood displays for quilts and other fiber arts! This truly embodies Fine Craftsmanship in my book!
Happy 2013 to all!!