Someone asked me today why I’m calling my current project the Hillbilly Tansu. In short, it’s a Japanese inspired cabinet/chest being built by a hillbilly.
According to Merriam Webster a hillbilly is defined as:
a person who lives in the country far away from cities and who is often regarded as someone who lacks education, who is stupid, etc.
Not exactly a flattering definition. I was born, raised and currently reside in West Virginia. I hold three college degrees, I do live in the country, and I’m a little rough around the edges. I’ve also been known to wear bib overalls on a regular basis. To me a hillbilly is a self reliant individual who makes the best of what he has available to him. Creative ingenuity, fueled by 1 or 3 beers, is often employed in problem solving. Guinness works best for me.
Therefore, I chose to apply a label to this project so that if anyone stumbled on my blog in search of true tansu construction, they would realize what I’m doing has nothing to do with historically accurate construction. I view what I’m doing more along the lines of Chris Schwarz much rumored upcoming book on vernacular furniture, “Furniture of Necessity“. I’m trying to replicate a furniture form within the limits of my knowledge and access to materials.
So that should cover the whole name thing. Now if you want to have a look at a real deal tansu built by someone who knows how to do it, have a look here.