Thank you for the fabulous article and cover photo (July) that helped promote the annual Humboldt Botanical Gardens Foundation fund-raiser garden tour and tea. Terry Kramer's personal introduction to some of the unique gardening enthusiasts we have in this area was not only informative, but heartwarming.
The article was in great part responsible for the most successful garden tour ever and though there may be a few drivers still stuck in gridlock over in Fieldbrook, take heart. It was worth it.
Lynn Wells, Bayside
Your June cover story ( "Value added") should have been, "Local woodworkers turn hardwoods into -- art!" An artist turns a canvas into a painting (a work of art), a sculptor turns clay into a statue (a work of art). And, for those seeking the unusual and different in furniture, the Michelangelos and Rodins of woodworking turn wood into furniture, i.e., works of art.
(P.S. Love your magazine.)
Gene Chapman, Beaverton, Ore.
Jim Hight's story on woodworking highlighted the greatest obstacle that we studio furniture makers must overcome: the impression that only eccentric rich people with disposable income would be crazy enough to buy our work. In reality, the people who purchase custom furniture do so because they gauge value carefully, regardless of economic class.
Cheap manufactured furniture may very likely be replaced several times during a lifetime and certainly will not hold up through the generations. When you consider the accumulated cost incurred over time and the hidden costs of pollution, disposal and wasted resources, a cheap piece of furniture becomes quite expensive.
If you look at the history of an heirloom, you'll find that it has been cherished and handed down from one generation to the next. With reasonable care, it will retain its value throughout this journey, fetching a price that in many cases will pay to have it remade anew.
John Saveliff, Eureka
Thank you for your article on North Coast woodworkers.
I would like to clarify a few impressions that your story may have left with readers. First, most people supporting themselves as fine woodworkers in Humboldt County do so primarily through local business. Only a few are marketing out of the area at this time. And second, our clients span all economic levels. They are united by a love of fine design, beautiful materials and the hand-crafted care that can be witnessed in each piece.
Humboldt County's woodworking industry is where Napa Valley's wine industry was 30 years ago. Back then Napa had good soil and a few good Italian winemakers. Today, Humboldt County has good wood and good furniture makers.
I believe this area will become known as an innovative center for fine furniture and design. We are delighted that attendance at Wood Fair '97 at College of the Redwoods last month was up by more than one-third and many attendees were from out of the area.
By the way, the Humboldt Woodworkers Guild is open to all makers of furniture and home furnishings, including lampmakers, fabric artists, potters and other artists.
Joann Schuch, chair
Humboldt Woodworkers Guild