Jon Stine shows Dan Liedtke how to make wood magic. Photo by Michelle Liedtke.
Tucked in a corner of Anderson Lumber, beyond the sawdust-covered planer and table saws, Jon Stine works his woodcraft magic. Hanging over his head, a wood bicycle – all wood, down to the chain – lets visitors know that they've walked into a special kind of wood shop. Across the shop, a plywood bar – don't wrinkle your nose until you see the cross-section bar that will grace the new Cycle Brewing Company – waits for more attention.
Today, though, Jon's taking a break from his clients to participate in the Gabber's "Artist for a Day", where we pair local people with local artists. Because of the nature of Jon's work – lots of things that can slice off a fingertip – we chose Dan Liedtke, who has experience with woodworking and wanted to take his woodwork to the next level with a woodworking project in his home office.
Jon's not your ordinary artist, at least not by some people's definition, although he did get his BFA from Ball State University. He also has an MFA in printmaking and sculpture. He started his higher education with intentions of working in architecture and engineering, but quickly realized his passion lay with art and that he'd be happier as a studio artist.
"I knew I wouldn't have a job," he laughs. But, at 38, he does: he's become locally and nationally in demand for woodworking projects. He works mostly with custom furniture, but goes beyond traditional carpentry. If you want cabinet boxes, call someone else. If you want a piece of furniture that draws focus for its beauty, he's your guy. In an era of furniture to go and laminate-coated headboards for $300, people respect his skill as an artistic craftsman.
"People will save up because they want heirloom quality [pieces] to pass to their children," he says.
Jon and Dan got to work with Dan's office piece, moving in tandem from planer to jointer to table saw to bar clamps and then the biscuit joiner. Every step of the way, Jon explained the necessity behind it. Some Dan understood; others helped him learn more of the craft.
"I learned that to perfectly join two pieces of wood you need to have perfect 90 degree angles on the adjoining edges. This makes for seamless joints that become invisible after staining," Dan said, adding that he discovered Jon and that he could "make a lot of cool things in his shop.
"It was a pleasure and a lot of fun working with Jon. I gained a new friend and I am happy to have learned more about Anderson Lumber on Gulfport's North 49th street border," he finished.
Take a look at some of the photos and the finished product from our latest Artist for a Day (Jon's the one with the beard). If you want to see some of Jon's work here in Gulfport, check out the bar at Peg's.
Jon worked with Dan cutting the pieces of the table top.
Jon showed Dan glue the wood, held together by joined "biscuits", and clamp it. "I learned that to perfectly join two pieces of wood you need to have perfect 90 degree angles on the adjoining edges. This makes for seamless joints that become invisible after staining," Dan said.
Under the artistic tutelage of Jon Stine, Dan Liedtke built a 1 ½" thick, hard maple table-top with an 18-inch wood compass inlay (not part of the project). Dan finished it with "rich mahogany" wood stain and several coats of satin polyurethane. Photo: DanLiedtke.JPG
Interested in participating in Artist For a Day? Tell us at News@theGabber.com and we'll put you in line for an upcoming feature.