Thursday, June 21, 2012

Etsy and Harriman Woodworking

Have you ever heard of Etsy? It's a website that serves as a hub for artists, artisans, and craftspeople of various types to sell their wares to people everywhere. My best understanding of it would be that it is an online grassroots marketing and distribution site for people who are skilled in various arts and crafts. If it had been in existence when my mom was living, I have a feeling she would have been enjoying a profitable retirement as she could have an outlet (beyond local craft shows) to distribute her amazing crochet, knitting, beadwork, and jewelry. 

I first discovered Etsy through my friends Clare and Jimmy Shreeves. Clare buys a number of handmade items on Etsy. My wife also frequents Etsy, and has bough multiple wedding gifts through the site (and also bought our cupcake toppers from our wedding there). The site has tons of listings in various categories, and each listing has an image. Many of the artisans are willing to make custom items as well. I love the idea behind this site, because I feel like there's something really special about hand-made items. Hand-made items tell a story. The creators of the items have refined a skill, a process, and strive for excellence in their work. 

Recently, I found out that one of my old roommates from college, Luke Harriman, just opened an Etsy page. Luke and his wife Diane, are incredible friends, and I'm grateful for any time I get to spend in their presence. Luke has also always been gifted with his hands. He also has recently completed a PhD in English--so he's a pretty smart guy too! Back in our undergrad, I can remember Luke teaching himself how to crochet, play the fiddle, and he even taught himself pottery and made our plates, bowls, coffee mugs, and drinking cups when we were living together.

Luke is also an incredible woodworker. He has worked in carpentry as well as cabinetry, and I'm really excited that he has started making beautiful clipboards and cutting boards and is selling them on Etsy. The photo above is his "End Grain QR Code Cutting Board" that he is selling on Etsy. It's a pretty intricate piece, and it is also a great conversation piece. The QR code is becoming an increasingly common format for bar codes and it is able to be scanned with smart phones. This particular cutting board has a QR code that takes you to the website of Nuru International. Beyond being an incredible conversation piece about Nuru, Luke has dedicated 20% of the proceeds from sales of this item to further Nuru's work.

Looking for a high quality cutting board from a talented craftsman? Looking for a kitchen tool that has an incredible story to tell, and that benefits an organization doing incredible work? look no further, visit Harriman Woodworking on Etsy, and tell others about Luke's incredible handiwork!

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