For the Love of Wood
When I look at my product lines, wooden heart does not seem to fit in the grand scheme of my shop: solid, flat things in the hollow, rounded world. But it is there for a reason: it was the first thing I made out of wood, as toys for my daughter to play with. I cut them out of colorful woods, took great care to round off all sharp edges, hand sand them down until they feel silky smooth.
My daughter loved to play with them, for awhile, then moved on to different toys. In the while, I did the same. I moved from a wood collector to a wood turner, from hobbyist to a shop owner.
I remember on a particular Valentine Day (back when I still made a fuss out of it) I went out of my way searching for a rustic, natural looking wooden heart as a Valentine gift. I couldn't find it anywhere so I had to settle for a metal one (that was pre-Internet, pre-Amazon, pre-Google, pre-Ebay, pre-Etsy time). That incident prompted me to make keychains out of a few hearts and offered them along with my other turnings.
I was surprised to see that there is a demand for them. So, once in awhile, I make a batch. Those hearts are labor intensive, with a lot of hand sanding, filing down what's left of my finger nails in the process. It's not exactly my favorite activity, but there is great satisfaction to transform something that look like this:
Then, for the love of my daughter, I made hearts. Now, for the love of woods, I keep making hearts.