Business Name: Refined Pallet
Jef is a woodworker and craftsman as a hobby and for enjoyment. He specializes in small boxes, usually with through dovetail joinery, incorporating various exotic figured woods. Jef believes that wood is beautiful in it's natural color so he rarely use stains or dyes on his projects. Instead, he prefers to just let the natural colors shine!
Refined Pallet got it’s name from how Jef started out gathering supplies for his projects. In his “real life” job, he runs a warehouse where there is a constant supply of extra pallets. He noticed that from time to time there was some really great wood used in the construction of freight pallets. After a little effort to take them apart, Jef found a free source of materials for setting up a wood shop. Of course, the projects created are small to accommodate the limited supply of usable wood, but he was amazed at the quality of material that could be recovered. From there, Jef has expanded his recovery efforts into looking for materials in other places that can be recycled into something beautiful. Old furniture, cabinets, visits to antique and thrift shops and of course cutoffs from local cabinet shops now make up the majority of his supply sources. Jef amazes his family and friends with what he creates out of materials rescued from the landfill, and I'm sure he'll amaze you as well!
1. What five words best describe you?
Creative, Humorous, Thrifty, Approachable, Honest
2. What five words best describe your work?
Unique, Elegant, Useful, One-of-a-kinds, Recycled
3. What was the very first art form you fell in love with, and, do you still do it?
Ever since I played with the tools in my father’s garage I have been a wood worker through and through. I have dabbled a bit in other forms of art but I always come back to the joy of creating something beautiful out of fine woods.
4. What was your very worst ‘real’ job?
Not necessarily my “worst” job but I took a major pay cut!! The day that I was of legal age to be properly employed my parents made me pass my lawn mowing business to my brother so that I could get a “real” paycheck. I ended up as the butcher at the nearby Fuddrucker’s Restaurant.
5. Is artwork your full-time life? Or, if not, are you planning to make it that way? If so, what’s your favorite part about being a full-time creative?
Spending time in my shop is currently a passionate hobby. The items that I create and sell are done so to share my craft with the world and to keep my hobby a self supporting endeavor. Someday I would love to make it a full time obsession but until then, I turn out my mini pieces of artwork one at a time.
6. What do you think is the single most important thing you could tell an artist just starting out?
Do it for the love of the process. If you are in it for the money you are in the wrong business. The time spent in creating your pieces will bring you joy, any income is just gravy.
7. What is your favorite way to distribute your work (craft shows, online, galleries, etc…), and why?
I currently use Etsy and word of mouth to distribute my work. Facebook has turned out to be my best method of promoting when I have new or interesting items leaving my shop. Eventually I will start to entertain the realm craft show or galleries when the price is right.
8. What are your five favorite blogs and/or websites?
www.lumberjocks.com - My Online Woodworkers Community
www.Geocaching.com – Website for my other obsession
From there it’s mainly news sites and other local interests. I do browse for other art information but there is nothing that I have bookmarked for regular reference.
9. Favorite artist?
Leonardo da Vinci – A very well rounded contributor to society. Not only was he a great artist, but a thinker, scientist and inventor.
10. Guilty pleasure?
My other obsession – Geocaching. Short explanation is using Billions of dollars of government technology to find Tupperware in the woods. Check it out at www.geocaching.com
~~ GIVEAWAY ~~~
Jef has generously offered a $25 gift certificate for use in his Etsy store to a lucky one of my readers. He says the winner is also welcome to use it towards the custom pen of their choice (fountain or rollerball). Like one of these:
- Go to Jef's Etsy page. Find your very favorite item.
- After that, come on back and leave a comment below telling us what your favorite item was and why (the 'why' is the part we really look for when deciding on a winner... so be creative!).
You may enter only once. The contest is open until 4pm Pacific time on the Monday following the original feature (so it's open for about six days). Winners will be posted on Tuesday morning, along with the new featured artist's piece. If you have any questions, please contact me, not the artist.
IMPORTANT: If you want to be contacted (if you are the winner), you need to leave your email address in your comment (I suggest spelling out the @(at) and the .(dot) to avoid spam from internet crawlers, or you may also leave your Etsy screen name, if applicable. If you don't leave either, you need to check back and contact me by the Friday following the contest ending to see of you won, and will need to email me (see Winner's Box in the upper right sidebar).
Bonus Entries- **You can earn an extra entry for each of the following: Follow my blog and/or follow me on Facebook. Both links are on the right-hand sidebar. Just make sure you note that you did these in your comment below!**Please note: The winner is chosen by me and the featured artist based on your responses...so make 'em good! We make no claims that the selection is random:) It is between you and the featured artist to coordinate the getting of your loot. I make no personal guarantees about time-frame for delivery, value, or condition of the winning item.
~~~~~~~~~~ Last Week's Winner: Melissa (she wrote actual POETRY!!!) ~~~~~~~~~~