About Jim

As far back as my childhood, I’ve lived with a deep rooted desire to work with wood. By the time I was 14, I was working in my first small shop in the basement of my parents house. Within a few years I had relocated and expanded to a double car garage at a friend’s house. Woodworking is in me, it’s just a natural part of who I am. Though I’ve drifted from it a few times throughout my life, it always calls me back. Woodworking is like a warm retreat for me in what can be the chilling business of this life.

There is something almost spiritual about taking a small piece of God’s creation and using my hands to bring out the natural beauty locked in the heart of the grain. In the process of shaping the wood, so many of my senses are engaged, I smell the wonderful aroma and feel the unique texture of each piece. Seeing the wood take shape and grow, I grow along with it. It changes my vision of what it is to become; I am shaped as well. Perhaps I experience a small portion of what God must experience. I am His wondrous creation, reflecting His image and so the product of my creative efforts reflects me at some level as well. The pride and love He must feel as we come to life by His own meticulous design. I feel some sense of that with each woodworking piece I make.

The finishing touch of applying the right stain or oil brings out the subtle character differences of the wood and the real beauty of the grain emerges. It is energizing and calming at the same time as I stand back and marvel at the final product. I always think to myself, I didn’t make this- it was already there. (Naturally, some pieces turn out better than others…)

One of the greatest joys I experience is witnessing the reaction of people enjoying the end result of my creative process. I’ve come to understand that in spite of the plastic world we live in there are many people who treasure fine wooden products. Some, like me, seem to have been born with this appreciation. But watching this appreciation emerge from others for the first time is a wonderful experience; it brings me full circle, warms my heart and reminds me of my own experiences as a child in that basement working with and enjoying woodworking for the first time.

Thank you for taking the time to visit with me, I hope you can enjoy my Solid Wood Works and Frames as much as I enjoyed making them for you.

Jim McDermott

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