Misc #2: Where I have I been? What have I been up to?

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Lisa Chan posted 03-04-2011 09:11 PM 1918 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: My local Woodcraft graciously changed the name of their woodworking class Part 2 of Misc series no next part

Last year was a whirlwind of activity for this very green woodturner. I started off blogging strong through Lumber Jocks and participating in community forums, posting images of my works in progress, and making new friends here.

And then something happened. I began to consistently get orders for my spindle work from wonderful men and women in the international fiber arts community who helped direct and shape a new business for me. Simultaneously, I also lit off a gasoline fire of a topic by starting a forum topic that explored the existence of a gender bias attitude (by retailers, class instructors, and even some fellow LJ contributors) that favored men as being more practical than women in the woodworking community.

I received both positive and negative responses to that topic in public and in personal messages, and appreciated all comments (because it clearly showed my concern to be valid). However, I decided that for myself, I wanted to spend time in online communities that inspired me to focus on craft and less on the demographic of the community. So, I sought those places out… found them. And have been active and happy since. So, that whole experience has long since been put behind me and I am happier for it.

I have been woodturning more than part-time for a little over a year and have built up a small business around custom lathe work. Last year, I created and sold more than 300 spindle pieces. This year, I am adding some metalwork to them, and have sold a little over 70 pieces since the beginning of the year. So the small business is growing, I’m growing in skill, I love the work.

Last year, I worked with about 30 wood species. My goal was to try a new wood species every other week. This year it seems to be continuing.

In summary, I am turning 4 out of 7 days a week, about 20 hours a week, and spending 10 hours finishing, and the remaining 10 hours in business administration… so I have been quite busy, very satisfied, and very much looking forward to this new year.

I hope everyone is doing well for themselves, and I expect I may stop in from time to time to say “Hello” and admire the fine works by fellow craftspersons.

-- Lisa Chan, custom cafts and yarn accessories,

5 comments so far

View Bertha's profile


13567 posts in 3206 days

#1 posted 03-04-2011 09:18 PM

Congratulations! I’m new to LJ so much of this is lost on me. However, I can count…and 300 spindle pieces is a lot! I’m always happy to hear about someone who’s happy among the shavings.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Lisa Chan's profile

Lisa Chan

147 posts in 3663 days

#2 posted 03-04-2011 09:25 PM

Welcome Bertha! There are lots of wonderful and helpful people here who are friendly and sincere. I hope you’ll find inspiration and I know you will receive many more warm welcomes.

-- Lisa Chan, custom cafts and yarn accessories,

View Dez's profile


1167 posts in 4590 days

#3 posted 03-04-2011 10:02 PM

Welcome back Lisa! I hope that drill press worked out for you!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3628 days

#4 posted 03-05-2011 03:12 AM

hello again Lisa :-)
welcome back , congrat´s with the business going up :-)
ceep on with exploring the trade its the right way to build skills

take care

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 3401 days

#5 posted 03-06-2011 11:27 AM

Hi Lisa.

I challenge anyone to determine the gender of a finished project.

I’m the founder of the Winnipeg chapter of the Southern Cruisers Riding club, a family friendly motorcycle rider’s group that promotes motorcycle safety and tries to improve the public’s image of us bikers. Some of our most dedicated and productive members are of the feminine persuasion. I personally don’t give a d##n whether a rider is male, female, or somewhere in between. I just care if they ride! A bike doesn’t give a hoot about the gender of its rider. It will toss anyone over the handlebars if they’re not careful. Same with wood working. A lady’s finger is just as likely to get mangled in a table saw accident as gent’s if they aren’t watching what they’re doing.

If you enjoy wood work, welcome! If you don’t, you’re on the wrong web site. ‘nuff said.

Another site you might find welcoming is:

It’s run by Tommy MacDonald, the guy who hosts the new show on PBS that is taking over from Norm Abram’s “New Yankee Workshop” titled “Rough Cuts, Wood Working With Tommy Mac”. It’s a complimentary place to LJ and has members of both genders, carpenters and cabinetmakers! (grin)

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics