45 Trips around the Sun and a Goal for Trip 46

Today marks the anniversary of my making it around the sun 45 times.  Sometimes it seems like that number should be much higher.  Other times it feels like the blink of an eye.  There has been bad and good with mostly fair to middln’.  I’ve learned a little along the way, gained and lost.  Since my thoughts have turned retrospective and philosophical, I decided to take a hard look at the last 45 trips and set a goal for trip 46.

One thing I have learned along the way is that change is never easy.  Sometimes it comes at you quick, almost instantaneous.  Other times it’s comes slow and you almost don’t even notice that it has happened.

I think, IMHO, I have gained the woodworking skills to create quality items.  I went a lot of years lacking the skill, tools and time to pursue woodworking in the way that I had envisioned doing so.  Now that I have gained some skills, still a lot to learn, the tools and can manage the time, what do I do with this quickly mounting pile of creations.

Up to this point I’ve built things for my own use and gifted the rest.  Small items are great for gifting but pieces of furniture are a different story.  Furniture is a personal thing.  It takes up valuable space in a home and is usually carefully considered by the homeowner.  Foisting an unplanned piece of furniture on someone in the guise of a gift just doesn’t seem like good form.  Since I’m driven to create and I see no way of stopping at this point, I have to find an outlet for these pieces.

So, my lofty and ambitious goal for trip 46 around the sun is to either obtain a commission for a piece of furniture or build a piece and sell it outright.  How to accomplish either version is still a mystery and I have a lot of research to do on the matter.

Wish me luck or at least chuckle at my insanity.

Greg Merritt

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21 Responses to 45 Trips around the Sun and a Goal for Trip 46

  1. Wesley Beal says:

    My experience may not apply, but when it comes to gifts I think that bookcases – especially collapsible or modular ones, are always welcome.

  2. Juryaan Mulder says:

    Happy 45 Greg, i hope you will archieve your goals,good luck.

    best wishes


  3. amargeson says:

    It appears that you are not driven by economic necessity, but rather by creative necessity. I have read several times that artists and artisans enjoy creating work and then offering it for sale much more than working on commission. I suspect that it is much more lucrative to work on commission though, as people are willing to pay for that special piece of their own design. I think you will need a portfolio for people to look at if you intend to work on commission eventually, so perhaps you should build a piece to display at shows. Where I live, there are good opportunities for people like you to display work at well attended shows as a way of generating commissions and selling pieces.

    The challenge would be to come up with a piece that is feasible to transport, shows off your skills and is attractive to potential customers or clients.

    • gman3555 says:

      Thank you for your feedback. I agree that I need to expand my portfolio. I also need to find out where and at what events I can display my wares. Hopefully the Hillbilly Tansu designs will fulfill my need for portability and the dog and pony aspect.

      The most obtainable version of my goal is to build something ad hoc and then sell it.


  4. Dave G says:

    Hi Greg
    Happy birthday, I do not think you will have any problem achieving your 46 year trip goal.
    I wonder with your natural writing skills , your drawing abilities, your wide project skills and your design and manufacturing skills if writing and getting a book published is not also an option.
    Detailed instruction how to make a Hillbilly Tansu, some of the special tools required , simple knotting, Hillbilly Inlay Etc are just some of the topics you could include

    • gman3555 says:

      Thanks David. I’m not sure about the goal though. It’s a little scary, especially now that I’ve put it out there.

      I would be lying if I told you that the idea of a book hadn’t crossed my mind. I’ll have to do a LOT of research on that topic. Plus ask a few folks who have pulled it off already. I think I know at least one person I can ask. ;).


  5. orepass says:

    Looking forward to how you proceed. I’ve come across a couple of pieces lately that look like a fun challenge to build however recognize they won’t fit in with other items in our home. The only options are to sell or gift the pieces. My plan is to build them and offer them to family, if they have no desire I’ll try to sell them or the local hospice has fund raising where they may be auctioned.

    • gman3555 says:

      I like the idea of donating a piece for charity auction. I can see how that would be doubly rewarding. I get to build something plus the warm and fuzzy feeling of doing a little bit of good for others. The truth be told though is that I can’t afford to keep building and giving away. I need to at least support my addiction.


  6. davidos says:

    fair play Greg. “may the luck of the Irish be with you.

  7. Randy Allen says:

    Happy birthday Gregg, drive on!

  8. BrianJ says:

    Hey happy birthday man!! All the best on your 46th. I think your drive to create will engage in a number of ways this year, i look forward to seeing it unfold.

  9. ant11sam says:

    So… when I was born You already had some theft… 🙂
    We are in our forty’s,
    Just be “open” and Ideas, Inspiration or even Customers WILL come to YOU!
    Because our work really speaks for YOU!
    Happy birthday Greg!!!!
    And good winds for your sail!

  10. Jeff Branch says:

    Good luck to you with your goals. I have wanted to build a speculative piece of furniture for sale, but have never gotten around to doing it.

If you don't comment this is just a fancy way for me to talk to myself.

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