Day Trip to Madison . . . an Awesome Experience

Well the family and I took a day trip to Madison today, The big reason was my desperate desire to make a pilgrimage to the Woodcraft store. Madison is the home of the closest dedicated woodworking store to LaCrosse. We have a few that are close, there's A-Line tools that deals in the machine side of things, and there's the Home Depot and Menards, and a couple mom and pop places where you can get lucky sometimes. Man if I had a couple hundred grand just laying around, I'd invest in opening a woodcraft outlet or something like it here, I really think it would do pretty well, but what do I really know.

Anyhow the whole family wouldn't want to go with just to see the Woodcraft store, not sure I understand why. . . so we decided to visit the Chazen Art Museum down by the UW Madison Campus. By looking at their website I knew they has several pieces of furniture in their collection and I couldn't wait to see those. What was really on display were some pieces on loan from a collection in Janesville WI that demonstrated the progression of classical forms in early American furniture. From a 17th century joined chest through Chippendale, Queen Anne, Hepplewhite forms.

To see these actual pieces, made by the masters we try to imitate, up close and personal, man it was cool. I took so many pictures I went through three pairs of batteries.

I will build a highboy one of these days, when I'm ready and not before. It seems to me to be the ultimate step in the passage from journeyman to master.

The other surprise was finding a Italian Cassone built between 1400 and 1425, very close to the time period I'm working towards emulating at faires, They were highly carved and often gilded chests, used by rich merchants to show off their wealth. Oh I think I took fifty pictures, Thank God for digital cameras. 
At any rate it has been a long day, I'm looking forward to a lazy day tomorrow, I'm going to watch the original "Clash of the Titans" with the kids, I've been telling them how cutting edge and amazing the special effects were when I was a kid, I can't wait to see them giggle. Maybe I can find an old copy of "Jason and the Argonauts" to really kill them with. (evil laugh) but after that I'm gonna spend some more time in the shop and looking closer at all the pics I took.




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