I recently made this pipe box as a Christmas gift for Grace and Mike Cox. This thing definitely falls squarely in the so-called “primitives” category – it’s pine fore planed, nailed together, and painted. I’ve made a handful of these over the years and they’re always… fun. The right word is “fun.”
Folk furniture like this is has a special place in my heart because I love the contrast of the coarse tool marks with the decorative painting – a raw texture underneath a humble intentionality. It’s as if these pieces say, “It’s just plain old me, but I will put on my nice shirt for you.”
And this kind of furniture goes together pretty quick. Pine, nails, and paint. Couldn’t be more fun. It’ll never be the kind of stuff that earns the respect of prestigious collectors or top-drawer woodworkers, but folk craft never was about making an impression. It’s about making an expression. It’s about letting go of pretension and making for the sake of joy.
And joy is a worthy pursuit.