Thursday, July 29, 2010

In Brent McGregor's Workshop

Rocky Mountain Timber Products

When I was in Bend a couple of months ago I had the chance to visit Brent McGregor's workshop and showroom. McGregor is a master of what is often called "rustic" woodworking--and a very patient tour guide.

McGregor mostly works with juniper trees too twisted and irregular to be considered anything but waste by the timber industry. As a former logger himself, he has the skills needed to locate and extricate even the most isolated trees. After scouting and harvesting his materials, McGregor subjects them to a long process of stripping and finishing; his workshop (top and above) is filled with works in progress.

The showroom is stuffed to the rafters with sculpture, architectural elements, and furniture.

The outbuildings and grounds are a storage area for pieces of wood that I could happily stare at for hours--they're every bit as absorbing as those craggy stones in Zen dry gardens or on Chinese scholars' desks.

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