But for myself these hikes are not only for the ramps and mushrooms but also a time for me to gather a few birch saplings to use in rustic furniture making. Years ago while I was still in the Army my father bought me a book The Art of Rustic Furniture by Daniel Mack. The book reminded me of home with its beautiful pictures of trees, rustic woodworking, and amazing art. For several years after reading this book much of my work was influenced by rustic materials. While most of my current work tends to be more Arts and Craft or Contemporary style, I still enjoy making a table or chair from nothing but limbs cut from the forest on occasion.
I have somewhat of an extensive book collection but keep one bookshelf by the bed of my favorites that I pull out from time to time for reference, ideas, or just admiration and this book has always been on that shelf.
The picture at the top is the first rustic chair that I made many years ago and one of the first projects that I built that was outside of what I had been taught. I was very proud of my artistic expression when I made the chair and although it may not be my best woodworking pieces it is still a prized possession that I could never part with.