Jason Sinco Woodworks 2015 Year in Review

Happy New Year to all my poor neglected followers out there!  Thanks for sticking with me through the move and all that.  Just thought I’d do a short round-up of the year that was in my woodworking life…

Spring

JSWW news crew

My woodworking year started out with getting ready for the Renaissance Festival of the Ozarks.  This was my second year there, but I went big this time and added a live demonstration which was a big hit.  We had a fun weekend with our friend and helper Helen, and met lots of great folks.  I even wound up on the news!  I also built a pergola for the Master Gardeners of Greene County Demonstration Garden at Nathaniel Greene Park.  That was a big undertaking and I definitely should have allowed myself more time for it.  But, thanks to the help of my wife I got it put up and there it sits today.

Summer

JSWW sweaty move

In June we made the decision to move from Springfield to Illinois to be closer to my family and explore some better job opportunities.  So I put the rush on to get all my custom orders finished and build stock for my fall event.  Moving took up a lot of our time over the summer so I didn’t get nearly as much done as I would have liked before I had to pack up the shop.  I also started the Guild of the Midnight Crafters, a sort of online support group for craftspeople.  I’ve made some great new friends through that as well.

Fall

JSWW CMRF 2015

Fall brought new challenges, as I had to get ready for the Central Missouri Renaissance Faire in a borrowed shop.  I also overhauled the canvas canopy and set up an outdoor work area which I really enjoyed.  The Faire was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the different setting.  After the Faire, we focused on house and job hunting, and I put my tools away for the year.

Winter

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Here we are at the end of the year, and the beginning of a new one.  We found a house, with a detatched garage for my shop space, and are hoping to close next week so we can start moving in.  Then it will be a mad rush to get ready for RFO again in April.  Also, I’ve decided to tackle turning my small trailer into a Vardo-style camper.  Hoping to have at least the shell of it done for RFO so I can use it to haul all my stock.  Once I get that going, It’ll have its own page on the website.

So the great wheel turns and here we are again, in a new place but so many things stay the same.  I’m glad you all are with me at the end of another year, and here’s to 2016 being full of amazing possibilities!

-J. Sinco

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Shop-less for the Holidays….

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My workbenches turned plant stands, in storage and waiting…

So I find myself in an uncomfortable position.  Every year for the past few years, I have almost exclusively hand-made all my Christmas presents for friends and family, as well as usually picking up a couple commision jobs from people wanting something special for a loved one.  We are still house hunting, and though we’ve got an offer in on a house and have yet to hear back, there’s absolutely no way I could close on a house, move, and get my shop set up to work in time to do anything by Christmas.  This is usually a time of year where I am very busy with the projects that are my favorite, things made with love for the people most dear to me.

So I’m feeling the lack… I’ve got that uneasy feeling where you know you should be doing something but you can’t quite seem to remember what it was.  I’ve been relentlessly murdering time and looking forward to getting back in the shop as soon as I can, and absolutely NOT looking forward to doing Christmas shopping!

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Just a poor Joiner’s wife…

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I’d like to take a moment and publicly thank my amazing wife, Lucinda Sinco, for her help and support.

Without this woman in my life, none of this would be possible.  She puts in so much work when we do an event, setting up and tearing down, loading and unloading, minding the shop, putting up with dirt and dust and cold and bugs, cooking meals and so many more things… all to support me and my dreams of being a joiner and furniture maker.

It’s because of her encouragement I became a woodworker in the first place.  She has been there every step of the way.  She picks me up when I fall, celebrates when I succeed, keeps me grounded and helps me focus.  She is my biggest cheerleader and my best critic.  I can always trust her judgement and her honest opinions.  And she has never once told me that I couldn’t do it, even when I’ve thought it myself.

I know she does it all out of love, and I never want her to think I take it for granted.  I am eternally thankful for everything she does for me, and grateful to have her in my life.

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Gearing up for the Central Missouri Renaissance Festival

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Getting ready for this Ren Faire has been an experience for sure.  So much to do, our stuff spread out over three houses and a storage unit, and new jobs and house hunting to do too.  I don’t recommend it.

Doing a Ren Faire, especially when you do a demonstration as well as vend, is a lot to tackle.  It’s like selling at a craft show, being in a play, teaching a class, and camping out all rolled into one.  There’s costumes (“Garb” for those in the know) to make, props to find, tools to sharpen and wood to prepare, as well as making stock to sell, upkeep on tents and equipment for displays, and all sorts of other tasks needing attention.

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Something new, I found and printed off some historical documents (borrowed from Peter Follansbee and the St. Thomas Guild) to aid in the educational aspect of my demonstrations.  Court cases and Estate inventories, interesting but difficult reading.

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Spruced up the demo tent and made some new front legs for it, to replace the canopy supports.  I really like it in red.  Here’s some of the new stuff I made for this weekend.

Looking forward to our holiday in the past, our little working vacation weekend getaway.  Hope you can join us!

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So long Missouri, Hello Illinois!

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Oh, what a sweaty, sweaty day that was.

Hello all, just wanted to drop you a note and say that we’ve finished our move and I’ve taken up temporary shop residence at my Grandparent’s house.  I took lots of pictures of the move and all, and planned to make a blog post about the process of packing up the shop, but when I sat down to write it, it seemed like a very dull subject.

So the short story is we’re here and I’m ready to get back to work.  A month away from the Central Missouri Renaissance Festival and plenty to do.  I’m putting a coat of paint on the demo booth canopy and we are making a canvas cover for our 10×20 shop tent.  Some little bits to finish up and gathering up all my period woodworking kit and planning this Faire’s project.  Think I’m going to do a small Aumbry but need to do a test run first.  If that doesn’t work out I’ll do another chest.  Or maybe I’ll do both.  Anyway things are still topsey turvey but we’re getting there.

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Time’s up…

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Well, I fought the good fight till the last, but I’m out of time.  Hammers down, time to pack up the shop.  Here it is on day one of teardown.  Looks like hell, I know, but it’s a process…

Wish I could say I got more done in the time I had, but I think I did enough.  I will have stock for the Ren Faire in October, but a lot of projects got left on the drawing board and never made it to the workbench.  I’ll keep them percolating though, there’s another fair in the spring and I have a feeling that it’ll be wild times getting ready for that one, too.

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Back in the saddle…

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Glad to say I’m finally feeling like I’m on the right side of the production ledger again.  Even with all the moving stuff that’s been going on, in the month of June I managed to finish a 5-piece custom order and have 8 small folding stools ready for assembly.  Not bad I guess, all things considered.  Still lots of furniture left to make for the Central Missouri Ren Faire but knocking out these 8 stools gives me some breathing room.  Feeling like things are getting back to normal.

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When is a good time to move?

So the word is out, we will be moving to Illinois sometime this summer or early fall.  There are already boxes being packed.  We decided this sort of “all of a sudden” in May, and it has been taking up most of my time since.

This puts a huge kink in my woodworking plans for the summer as I’ve committed to doing a few custom jobs for people and I’m supposed to be building inventory for the Central Missouri Renaissance Faire in October.  It took me three months to prepare for the last Faire we did, and I really need about double the inventory for this one, so my schedule was pretty full as it was.  Now throw in a move to another state and possibly being without a shop for a few weeks and things are on the verge of panic-inducing.

I’ve managed to complete a furniture order which has helped get me back on track, and I’m just going to have to gut it out and make the time.  I’ve got the best support network in the world, and having people in your corner who believe in you can make all the difference sometimes.

I’ve been told that there’s never a “good” time to fall in love, and I guess you can add to that, there’s never a “good” time to move.

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Life happens when you least expect it…

Some big life changes are going on in the Sinco household, and it’s thrown my woodworking schedule into chaos.  I started a batch of folding stools a few weeks ago and the parts have been languishing on my workbench, just waiting to be assembled.  Luckily, I received an order for some this week along with a table, which gave me a kick in the pants to get back in the shop and get to work.  Plans for the online store are on hold right now until some of this other stuff shakes out.  Until it does, please forgive the extended absences… Hopefully all will be settled soon and I can get back on a regular schedule and start building inventory for the Central Mo Ren Faire in October, which all of a sudden seems frighteningly close.

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Added an online shop…

So I decided to try out a Square shop, since I’ve already got an account with them for card processing at events.  You’ll notice the shop page has been added which just has a link to the (temporarily empty) square shop.  It’s way different to operate than Etsy, which I’m used to (but not happy with), so give me a few days to figure it out and get some stuff listed.  I’ll be sure and post when I get it all figured out and have a “grand opening”.  Anyway, baby steps.

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