When I was little, my grandfather made me this wooden space shuttle.  I've had it as long as I can remember.  I recall playing with this simple wooden toy, and imagining how it was made -- I always thought, primarily on the wood turning lathe. 

As I grew older and pursued my own life and interests, other wooden objects came into my life.  While on a trip to Japan with my wife Farrah, in a small town in the mountains north of Nagano called Yudanaka we noticed an old home with a display of beautiful wooden cups and bowls in the window. We poked around but didn't see anyone, and as we were running to catch a train, I took a quick snapshot because I knew some day we would return...

On a later trip with my friend Steve, we imposed a bit more firmly and an old lady (and by old, I mean ancient..) emerged asking us if we'd like some tea "OCHA NOMITAI DESS-KA" ... "KUDASAI!!!" we said, and she asked us in out of the cold and made and brought us some tea.  Here's a picture of me in the shop.

After bringing a few things home, finally -- I began to marvel at the beauty and simplicity of these wooden objects. Like the space shuttle I imagined wow were they made? And more profoundly, how I was so lucky to be in possession of these beautiful objects?

I was determined to find out, and to see if my luck would allow me make a few things myself. 

Luck being one of my greatest attributes, I was sure that through trial and error, I could make something.  The bowls quickly became my favorites.

And that's where you find me, in November of 2020. I've made a few things for family and close friends.  They have been kind to encourage me.  I've made some things I wouldn't part with for any sum of money, and I've made some things that I know will be used at a potluck, a gathering of friends. Or to hold candy at a Halloween party. How can one put a price on these things?

If I can contribute an object of beauty to your life, to pass along the good fortune and beauty which I've been a recipient -- this is a very lucky thing indeed.

So I will continue.  My objects, these bowls of wood, are not perfect.  They are products of nature.  And products of my own clumsiness.   I do not consider myself a craftsman equal to my grandfather, the maker in the Japanese Alps, nor those who have generously shared their advice and wisdom contributing to my own pursuit of these skills.

But a bowl is a simple thing, and if it holds something you cherish, or something that nourishes you, it can be considered a success. If you look at it and smile or laugh, or if joy is sparked, then it can be considered a real treasure.

Thank you for your interest and patronage. It is a gift and proves my luck to be safe, at home, and in the presence of beauty. May you have the same good fortune...


Yours truly,


Jim Stewart

Riverside, California

November 2020