Thursday, May 13, 2010


Let me tell you about Jack Piper.

I found Jack on my way back home yesterday.  I had noticed him putting out bird houses in front of his house and decided to go take a look!

The curvy on on the right is the one that caught my eye!  How funky is that?  I love it!  They are both made out of red cedar. They are so simple yet so beautiful at the same time.

I introduced myself and told him about my store and that I was looking for work just like his and wanted to know if he had anymore.  "Well, normally I do, but I went to the auction last weekend and they wiped me out. A lot of people wanted them as Mother's Day gifts."

He asked me to come back to his shop and he would show me what was left of his inventory.

Here is the PinePiper Woodshop:

It looks like it's an extension of his garage and when you go inside it was the kind of place where guys can site down, have a few beers, play some cards and just relax.

He has a nice little stove, a comfy table and chairs and a small bar.  Definitely a "Man's Den". 
I have to admit - I was a bit jealous.  I love little spaces like that.  Some place you can steal away every once in a while and do...whatever.  Play some music, paint, build bird houses...nice!  Jack plays the guitar too and he's working on teaching himself the banjo.  Maybe the next visit I can convince him to play something for me.

Here he is holding up one of his remaining bird houses!

Jack was covered in saw dust, has an easy smile and is a very friendly guy. We chatted for well over an hour.  Like me he's been unemployed for over a year and struggling to find a job.  He's close to my age I imagine and I think we are both finding it hard to get back into the workplace again.  Finding it hard to get back into working for someone else.

He used to work for one of the local yacht companies, but the economy being the way it is you can imagine that the demand for yachts has slowed down just a bit!

So Jack being an entrepreneur took what was a hobby and decided to "push the envelope" a bit.  He has a buddy who has a saw mill down the road and they help each other out by giving each other business.  Jack gets a good supply of the wood he needs to create his bird houses, frog hotels, push me-pull you's, trellis', name it, Jack can probably make it for you!

Here's his shop.  The smell of pine and cedar are warm and comforting - but then I always liked the smell of wood.  This shop has seen a lot of good years and I think it will see a lot more.

Jack is demonstrating how his trellis's are assembled.  It's such a simple design really and completely earth friendly!  The wood will eventually rot out and become part of the earth again. 

Cycle of life continues.

I asked Jack if he was happy doing this and he said absolutely. He makes enough money at PinePiper Woodshop to pay his bills and his mortgage.  He's living a simpler life, NO stress and really loves what he is doing. 

How can you beat that?

I have a feeling that Jacks bird houses will sell very well at Idiosyncrazies and I look forward to driving back down there again to see him and chat some more.  He told me that he makes THE best grave blankets and uses bog peat and mosses that grow right around where he lives!

They are on my list that is for sure!


  1. Yeah, I love people like Jack. Take something "bad" and turn it around! Live life....

  2. I want to see this store up close and personal.....

  3. Great story! And how wonderful he can support himself doing something he loves so much. Good luck to you both.