Yesterday, I shared a project that Stephen made for my ‘studio’ and today I’m going to tell you about a couple of things that I have made for Stephen to use when he is in the shop: a custom apron and a roll for some of his turning tools.

The first item is a roll for some bowl gouges that he wanted for wood turning.  Sometimes when we buy each other wood tools, it is something that we are really buying for ourselves but since I am not a turner, these will be strictly for his use.  The set of gouges is from Lee Valley, which will surprise nobody who knows us at all.   They come in individual plastic holders but I wanted to make something a little more personal so I made a custom fitted holder.  As you can see by the picture, these are not small tools so you want a place to put them away when not turning bowls since that is not something he has been doing too much.

The other project is a custom shop apron.  This is actually the 3rd or 4th iteration of a custom apron.  Stephen had requested that I make him a new apron and suggested a canvas apron with straps that crossed in the back.  I made one according to the design but he found it cumbersome and stiff so we went back to the drawing board.  This time, I used a more flexible waffle canvas and made two layers.  Initially, I made it with a waist strap that had a clip fastener but after he wore it a few times, Stephen said that he thought he’d prefer having it tie around his waist so I made some more adjustments.  Now he says it is just the ticket.  That is the biggest advantage of being able to make your own accessories.

The shop apron was extra special because putting on the apron is part of Stephen’s process to transition to woodworking mode. Once he steps in the shop and puts on his shop apron, he knows he doesn’t have to think about anything but woodworking.  It always reminds me of Mr. Rogers putting on his sweater.    I don’t have a special studio, just a desk in my office and sometimes get distracted by work I ‘should’ be doing when I’m at my machine.  I like the idea of making a transition so I am going to start wearing a smock or something when I go to sew or quilt.  Time to make myself my own studio apron.

What do you do to transition to your creative mode?