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By Susan Reimer, The Baltimore Sun | July 15, 2010
When the bottom fell out of the home construction market two years ago, it took Kevin Hurst, who built them, and his wife Tracy, who wrote loans for them, down with it. The Annapolis family, including 7-year-old twins, had to move into what had been Hurst's business offices. Hurst then turned to building houses for a different type of clients. Birds. A perfectionist who promised buyers of his custom designs only that he would be slow, he returned to his wood-working shop where he could execute that attention to detail on whimsical, magical – and expensive - birdhouses that can now be found in as many homes as gardens.
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By Nate Rabner and The Baltimore Sun | May 10, 2014
Joey Jobes' workshop is a small, two-story building in Havre de Grace, minutes from the Susquehanna Flats at the top of the Chesapeake Bay. The space is dominated by saws, knives, paints and hundreds of blocks in various stages of transforming into ducks, geese and other birds. Most horizontal surfaces are covered in tools and supplies, but Jobes seems to know where everything is. "My life is business," Jobes said. A second-generation decoy carver in the self-proclaimed decoy capital of the world, he has been in his business for most of his 48 years and goes about it with practiced ease.
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Dan Rodricks | December 12, 2012
My parents gave me a few things: a good start in life, a gray suitcase with plastic, stick-on initials for the DIY monogram (though we spelled out do-it-yourself in 1972), and an electric Timex Dynabeat wristwatch that I haven't worn in more than 30 years. I'm not proud of that. My parents never had much in the way of disposable income, and 40 years ago, they spent precious money on a watch for me. I should have treated it with more respect. Instead, I stopped wearing it after the second or third wristband busted.
NEWS
By Jonathan Pitts, The Baltimore Sun | December 11, 2013
As a long-haired teen growing up in the 1960s, Jim McCullough had little clue what he wanted to do with his life, but two things did stir him: He hated the way some people in Laurel, his hometown, looked down on his African-American friends, and he loved using the wood lathe in shop class. He has traded the hippie locks for a grandfather's trim goatee. He long ago gained renown in the region as a master furniture craftsman, at times for his work on pieces used by government officials from presidents to attorneys general.
FEATURES
By Susan Reimer and Baltimore Sun reporter | March 15, 2012
Founder and lead designer: Mark Melonas, whose nickname was Luke, has a design and sculpture degree from the University of Maryland and a master's in furniture artisanry from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. But he began working in the basement of his family's Howard County home, making furniture with his father. He cast his first custom-designed sink in the kitchen of his Bolton Hill apartment 10 years ago. Today, the company he founded specializes in custom concrete and wood products.
NEWS
By Amy Armstrong | December 2, 2013
Furniture craftsman Jim McCullough has worked on very large and prestigious projects, such as several pieces in the White House, the desk of the founder of Bowie, Odgen Bowie; touched up and refinished furniture at the Taylor House in Washington; and refinished 200 chairs for Dempsey's Brew Pub at Camden Yards in Baltimore, creating connections with each project. Last year, Denman McCoy, from the Department of Justice, where McCullough had done work on and off for 10 years, called and asked him to repair and restore the desk of Thurgood Marshall, the first African American justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
NEWS
October 17, 2003
Michael Bradley Wigle, a textile designer and craftsman who owned and operated a shop in Frederick County, died of cancer Saturday at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was 47 and lived in Middletown. Mr. Wigle was born and raised in Gaithersburg and, after graduating from high school, he studied with a master weaver. In 1980, he opened The Fiber Connection in Keymar, selling jackets, sweaters and women's apparel. He later moved the business -- which featured his designer clothing and woven fabrics -- to Gettysburg, Pa., and finally to Middletown in Frederick County.
NEWS
By Robert A. Erlandson | March 11, 1991
Most people looking at a tall, strong oak see a beautiful tree. John D. Alexander Jr. sees much more. He sees a ladder-back chair, a joint stool or other furniture crafted with the techniques and tools of 17th century artisans.The fragrance of fresh-cut wood filled the workshop adjoining the kitchen of his South Baltimore home, as Mr. Alexander's razor-keen hatchet bit into a wet slab of oak, chipping ever closer to a lightly scribed line. He delivered a final blow and there it was, a finished piece cut and trimmed by hand as cleanly and accurately as by the finest machinery.
NEWS
By Jacques Kelly and Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF | April 13, 1999
Robert Ellsworth Romoser, a retired Polytechnic Institute teacher who built harpsichords in his basement, died Friday in his sleep at Hospice of the Chesapeake in Linthicum. He was 93 and lived in Pasadena.From 1923 until his 1960 retirement, Mr. Romoser taught mechanics and thermodynamics at the school's North Avenue building, where, in 1952, he painted a mural as a memorial to Poly students killed in military action during World War II and the Korean conflict."He was the kind of teacher that [Poly Principal]
NEWS
By Fred Rasmussen and Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | November 30, 1997
Charles Hillary Griffin had a distinctive way of greeting neighbors who moved into his community near Crownsville. He presented them with redwood mailboxes he had made in his basement workshop.Mr. Griffin, who was 65, died of heart failure Tuesday at North Arundel Hospital.Anne Scott, a neighbor on Waterbury Heights Drive, recalled last week a morning 30 years ago when she was awakened by the sound of a hammer."He was the first one to welcome us to the neighborhood. It was a complete surprise.
NEWS
By Amy Armstrong | December 2, 2013
Furniture craftsman Jim McCullough has worked on very large and prestigious projects, such as several pieces in the White House, the desk of the founder of Bowie, Odgen Bowie; touched up and refinished furniture at the Taylor House in Washington; and refinished 200 chairs for Dempsey's Brew Pub at Camden Yards in Baltimore, creating connections with each project. Last year, Denman McCoy, from the Department of Justice, where McCullough had done work on and off for 10 years, called and asked him to repair and restore the desk of Thurgood Marshall, the first African American justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | December 12, 2012
My parents gave me a few things: a good start in life, a gray suitcase with plastic, stick-on initials for the DIY monogram (though we spelled out do-it-yourself in 1972), and an electric Timex Dynabeat wristwatch that I haven't worn in more than 30 years. I'm not proud of that. My parents never had much in the way of disposable income, and 40 years ago, they spent precious money on a watch for me. I should have treated it with more respect. Instead, I stopped wearing it after the second or third wristband busted.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Dave Gilmore | July 18, 2012
" Snow Cone Maker " by Tiny Toys Inc., is in the top 30 of free gaming apps on the Apple store, which is not surprising since half of the country is experiencing oven-like conditions this summer. Snow cones (or "snow balls," or "shaved ice" depending on your region) represent Americana in July like few other traditions. As an enterprising 16 year-old desperate to buy a used car, I toiled one summer at my local snow cone stand to earn a few (under the table) dollars.
FEATURES
By Susan Reimer and Baltimore Sun reporter | March 15, 2012
Founder and lead designer: Mark Melonas, whose nickname was Luke, has a design and sculpture degree from the University of Maryland and a master's in furniture artisanry from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. But he began working in the basement of his family's Howard County home, making furniture with his father. He cast his first custom-designed sink in the kitchen of his Bolton Hill apartment 10 years ago. Today, the company he founded specializes in custom concrete and wood products.
FEATURES
By Dennis Hockman, Chesapeake Life + Home | April 29, 2011
What's it like to live in a design laboratory? Local furniture craftsman David Wiesand knows. He created one at his Mount Vernon home, spending years renovating the historic property and trying out a variety of decor and styles. The finished space — he continues to tweak — is featured in the Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage that begins Sunday in the downtown Baltimore neighborhood. Now in its 74th year, the tour features more than 50 houses, gardens, farms, churches and historic sites throughout Maryland, with proceeds going to support a variety of preservation projects.
FEATURES
By Susan Reimer, The Baltimore Sun | July 15, 2010
When the bottom fell out of the home construction market two years ago, it took Kevin Hurst, who built them, and his wife Tracy, who wrote loans for them, down with it. The Annapolis family, including 7-year-old twins, had to move into what had been Hurst's business offices. Hurst then turned to building houses for a different type of clients. Birds. A perfectionist who promised buyers of his custom designs only that he would be slow, he returned to his wood-working shop where he could execute that attention to detail on whimsical, magical – and expensive - birdhouses that can now be found in as many homes as gardens.
NEWS
By Robert Hilson Jr. and Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF | June 18, 1997
In the basement of his Baltimore County home, Joseph D. Thompson meticulously glued short rows of colored feathers to dowel-like rods that would become arrows for bowhunters.It was a delicate job, done after he had painstakingly painted thin lines on the wood in the hunter's preferred color.Mr. Thompson, who made and sold archery tackle, died of cancer Thursday at his Owings Mills home. He was 72.He had operated Joseph D. Thompson Jr. Enterprises Ltd. out of his home since the mid-1950s, supplying archers in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania.
NEWS
By Judy Reilly and Judy Reilly,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | August 14, 1997
JOHN GARTRELL can't help himself. The Union Bridge resident has to tinker with something.When he's not working on his Victorian house, he's tending the lush flower garden out back. Cold weather brings him inside to craft stained-glass windows or lamp shades, or to fiddle with his mechanical musical instrument collection.Most of all, Gartrell likes to quilt."Like many people, I fell in love with quilts in Lancaster County," he said.If he had to buy a quilt, Gartrell believed he would own just one because they are expensive.
NEWS
By Bruce Wallace and Bruce Wallace,Los Angeles Times | April 13, 2008
TOKYO -- Masahisa Tsujitani is getting a lot of attention these days for a man who has spent much of the past 40 years bent over a lathe in a garage workshop, where amid the sharp smell of burnt oil and iron he grinds out some of the finest 16-pound shots ever tossed by Olympic athletes. But Tsujitani's cheerful face is showing up on Japanese television and in newspapers not because of what he does but because of what he is refusing to do. After four Olympic Games in which his finely grooved iron balls were the shots of choice for most medalists, this Tokyo craftsman has told Chinese Olympic officials that they will not be receiving any of his products at this summer's Beijing Games.
BUSINESS
By Marie Gullard and Marie Gullard,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 19, 2007
What would a lighting designer, director and master craftsman of the stage do when he retires? In the case of William T. Brown, longtime chairman of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County's theater department, he keeps right on designing, crafting and building. In fact, when Brown, 78, and his wife, Fran, were building a new house in the Howard County community of Autumn Manor 17 years ago, he requested an immediate change. He asked that the builders reorient the house on its corner lot to face what would have been the side street because he liked its name better.
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