My Dad could make anything.
One Christmas, Dad made a sofa and a doll-sized bunk bed for my sister and I. I have no idea how he kept it hidden from us; our house was very small and I don’t remember seeing him work on it. Dad’s workroom was right off the livingroom, and contained not only his work bench, but also a canned goods pantry and the washing machine. We were in and out of there all the time.
His workbench was in the back. I have a memory of a very crowded space. Along with a vise, bits and pieces of wood and wire, hand tools hung on the walls and littered the bench surface.
He was very good with his hands. He made small wooden sculptures of hearses from different eras. Some of the larger ones are in glass display cases that he also made, constructed out of scrap windowglass, assembled using lead and solder. The one that I have is a horse drawn hearse, carved and assembled from wood. The carriage itself has windows and a door in the back, a seat for the driver, and leather reins. The hearse van has purple, hand crocheted, curtains and a driver’s seat.
It’s really quite a lovely work.
Many of the things that Dad made were created from scraps and leftovers from larger projects. He would find something and try to find a way to re-purpose it or use it to create some one-of-a-kind object. A Merry-Go-Round, a dollhouse, the hearses. When my sister and I were young, he made us a playhouse with a dutch door, a see-saw and a full sized carousal, big enough for four kids.
When I was in high school, Dad got the macrame bug. He welded armatures and created all sorts of crafty and decorative pieces. He had his work at a gallery in downtown Pittsburgh called The Critics Walk. He sold quite a few pieces there.