JP's News and Such:
"Chippin' Right Along"
I have changed my E-MAIL address ... please
from now on.
Well April is ending , the weather is warming (a little) and
the bass are cleaning off beds. I'm preparing to retire from Unifi Inc. - a
textile company where I've worked for going on 45 years (dang I'm getting old)
and I am counting down the days until I retire from there, and will focus on
making bowls, playing my banjo (badly) playing with my pet squirrel, fishing,
hunting, or just doing what I want to do on any given day. Sounds like a plan
I'll have to live on less, but my health requires me to
back off and take it easier and that's what I'm going to do.
I had a fellow Bowl Maker come up
to spend the day with me yesterday. Philip Jones from Gastonia, NC is a young
fella that has a passion for making bowls, uncovering what is inside the tree
and showing it off in a well made, well
shaped bowl. Phil came up back in October last year and I'll gladly have him up
anytime he wants to come around. We cut up a couple of logs into bowl blocks
that he brought with him, and we also cut up on of the logs I have for this
Phil sells his bowls mainly thru "instagram"
- I'm not much on the hi-tech stuff but Phil understands it so it's fine by me.
The Picture (below) was taken October 20, 2017 - I'm just a little older and
uglier now. My "bowl making" shop clothes are about as worn out as I am, but
I've made well over a thousand bowls while wearing these same ratty looking
clothes. The other thousand or so had me wearing out a variety of bibbed
overalls, coveralls, or whatever I happened to be wearing at the time. I
like wearing this "get up" as they are worn and comfortable - and probably a
little smelly at times.
I have a special project I am working on
but am still working on Dough Bowls also. I'm running a tad harder than I ought
to - to me - running equals stitches or something there abouts and I've done
enough damage already this year.
I'll officially retire from my "Day
Job" June 28th when I turn 62. I have enough vacation time saved to take every
Monday and Friday off until then so I'm working my way into retirement and
getting used to the extra time I'm going to have. Working 12 days in April, 15
in May and 12 in June - sounds about right to me.
I had a
man come up from Texas the first week of April to meet me and see all the bowls in the show room. It really makes me
feel good for folks to come from so far away. Makes me think I must have done
something right. So far I've had folks come from 32 states to see me and buy
some of my products and each and every visit was a humbling event. I just about
won't even go to Greensboro (about 25 miles from the house) to buy something -
the thoughts of travelling across a state - or in this case - the country,
really humbles me.
I had one of my customers send a nice email
this week wanting to know how she could put a picture on my website so I have
entered it here and am also re-doing my customers comments page by adding
another page to it. The page has started to be hard to open up to some folks
(especially those without high speed internet) due to the file size and I will
try to correct that this weekend... Thank's Judy Garrett !
My daughter wanted a Dough Bowl and she wanted to find a local Artisan. So I
found JP Madren "The Dough
Bowl Maker" and he made her an exquisite and unique bowl. Her Granny is 89 years
old, and her dough bowl is handmade and over 100 years old.
This gift was one of her favorites (at christmas)
Thank You JP for making my gift giving easy !
JuDy , Have a Great Day !
Please be sure to CLICK on the PICTURE of any
bowls you may want to buy to get more views of the bowl and more information !!!
Still having folks that do not know this !!!
I had some visitors to my new Show Room
during the past few weeks and so far a bunch of positive comments.
Thanks for all the interest and trust in my products
to those of you who have bought my products since I got back on-line in
September. Leaving the NC State
Fair was a really hard thing for me to do. Being unappreciated is something that
I do not take lightly - but you folks have shown your appreciation and really
made me feel great. I have already bought a bunch of logs that will produce the
bowls I will make for 2018 and should guarantee that I'll have bowls to
put on line every couple of months. I'll be putting more
bowls on line before long, and I think you'll agree that God has allowed me to
find some really beautiful wood as the ones I'll put on in late spring are gonna
be some really beautiful bowls.
My James P Madren FACEBOOK page - keeps up
with the different things I'm in to at the time. Just request that I "Friend"
you and we'll get you hooked up.
There's been several folks that have done their homework on me,
and see where I
used to draw portraits of people, and did air-brush art - and have wanted me to revive
that part of my life. ..."ain't gonna happen". Sign painting and airbrush art
helped me pay a lot of doctors bills for a sick youngun many years ago but she's
42 now, got a 14 year old youngun of her own and my painting days are over.
Many said I was good at what I did but I hated every minute of it. Seeing the
beauty of GOD's creations coming to life in my bowls thrills me and until I find
something that gives me a better "rush", I'll just stick with what I am doing.
Sales are going well and I am
grateful to be contacted by so many nice folks. I have the opportunity to get
into conversations with folks as they buy my bowls and KitchenSticks and it's
amazing how so many of them seem like old friends I haven't talked to in a
I had a lady named "Kim" come all the
way from Los Angeles California to see me at home Sunday Oct. 15th. She had
planned to come to the NC State Fair to see me and buy some bowls, and lucky for
her - she emailed me saying she had seen on the website that I would no longer
be at the fair. I invited her here - and she became THE FIRST PERSON to VISIT MY
NEW SALES / Showroom. You can buy on-line here on my website, or if you want to
meet me and see bowls not on the website as well as walking sticks and cutting
boards - please call ahead before you make the trip as the showroom will not be
open at regular hours.
It was a common thing for people to come from
several states away, and this lady would have been the 4th I've had from L.A. alone. I had
folks from 32 states travel to the NC State Fair in the past 10
years that I was there. This really humbles me to see folks wanting my work so
badly and putting such an importance on it.
can accept Credit cards ON-LINE ONLY ... I have no "zippy thing" at the shop ... so anything at the shop will be cash only. I am not
aiming on doing a lot of business at the shop, preferring to keep most of it on
I'll gladly meet anyone who wants to
come by but call before showing up to insure I'm home 336-349-4685.
I've Posted several Customer's Comments on my Customer Comments Page!
... Heres a couple
Hi JP, I just opened up my bread bowl and sticks and I'm
absolutely thrilled!!!!!! Couldn't be happier!! The blend of beauty,
sturdiness and practicality is just perfect. I've got my sourdough starter
going and I'm making bread in it tomorrow. I LOVE MY BOWL!!!!!!
I wish I knew anyone who makes bread but I don't, because I would
tell them to definitely get one of your bowls. I'm going to take pictures and
send it to all the family and friends. Who knows. Maybe there's a secret bread
maker in the family other than me. I'm so excited about my bowl and sticks, and
can't wait to try them both!! Thank you for letting me try some of the kitchen
sticks. They're going to get tried out tonight at dinner. haha!!
Thank you - thank you!!! Keep making your gorgeous bowls! Bread
making is becoming a lost art in some parts of the country so I feel so
privileged to have a piece of art for my bread.
Take care and again, it was so good talking to you on the phone.
here's another one ...
Phil Jones 8/17/17
Man I'm just speechless on this bowl from you. Unbelievable.
Very motivating and inspiring to me. I'm hoping to be as good as you one day and
keep the hand made dough bowls alive. I wish I could have bought all yours bowls
in return of helping me out with mine. I hope to one day meet you in person then
this doughbowl making will be complete. I'll send some pictures of some I've
done recently...check some of these colors out in the wood...thanks again JP
I put one of Phi's pictures on the Customers
Comments Page along with his letter and it is very impressive ... you may very
well see him selling on-line some day!
I still have bowls on
Working Bowls 1 ,
Working Bowls 2,
I am accepting e-mail orders only
for any bowls listed. Hopefully they'll all sell slow and I will probably
be able to keep some on here about all the time.
Credit card orders will go thru
PayPal. I'll need your address with zip code to figure any shipping
charges, and also
with a North Carolina "ship to" address will have to pay the NC sales tax for
their county which I have to turn in each quarter year.
I have some very large bowls that will
not be a part of the internet sale - as I'll hold them for the new sales /
link below is a short video of one of my pet squirrels.
back again and I shot another minute with him at:
or see my Granddaughter with him at
is just one of many I have raised over the years - each one having their own
personality and quirks that made them special. This one disappeared in the fall
when nature decided it was time for him to run himself ragged chasing the ladies
nesting all around the neighborhood. He came back in October but wasn't quite as
tame as before. On this most recent visit I carried his favorite things to eat -
salty potato chips and pecans, and soon had him eating from my hand. I didn't
try to rub him as squirrels have a really nasty bite (don't ask me how I know)
closely rivaling a skunk bite or that of a raccoon both of which I can tell you
all about. I had a Skunk (Midnight) in 1978-79 and early 1980. She was
de-scented and was comparable to a house cat with a possessive attitude. Over
the years I've also had a crow, ground hog, possum (courtesy of my little
brother Phil) 3 flying squirrels several Carolina Anole lizards and more grey
squirrels than I can name.
think Lucky's "Luck" must have worn out as shortly after the last video was made
I kept seeing a big hawk hanging around ... he finally quit hanging around and I
haven't seen Lucky since. Oh well - I'll have that much more of a reason to get
another in the spring.
BY THE WAY - I want to
say THANK YOU to "Whoever"
the first person was to put this picture on their
Pintrest page !!!
They were kind enough to give me and my website credit for it even adding a link
to it directing them to the website. You will not believe the hits I have gotten due to
this. This picture is the single most viewed picture on the whole website. It
came from my "How They're Made Page" and shows you how I "lay out" the outside
and bottom of every bowl I make. Regardless of their final shape - it all starts
like this being drawn out to make sure that the bowl is symmetrical. Their
kindness or curiosity is just one of the many reasons that this site is the "Most
Viewed Site on the internet" for
handmade wooden bowls. I really appreciate
lot of you have found my KitchenSticks to be a great tool, and a great
low priced gift for anyone who spends much time in the kitchen!
Several years ago a dear friend of mine that
I love as a brother - tried to help
me get a KitchenStick business up and going. We had the sticks made at a
furniture business in Mebane, NC that has since closed. Back then I couldn't make them and chop out Dough-bowls too, and had no machinery other than a sander and a chop (miter) saw. I worked 14 hour days, 6 and 7 days a week on bowls alone
so there was no time for the KitchenSticks.
it didn't work out - we ended the KitchenSticks business and "my dear friend" wisely figured out that
not only was he better off without the KitchenStick business - but also
better off without having anything to do with me too! I
guess the old saying of "don't go into business with friends or family" is just
good sound advice. I hate that it went the way it did, I discouraged the
from day 1 but that's life, I guess.
have so many people wanting the sticks and believing that they
make cooking easier for them and many with arthritis swearing that they help
them - so I'll keep on making them here in the shop. I have bought all the
machinery to help me make the KitchenSticks here, doing it all myself - starting out with a solid log, and ending with several boxes full of beautifully shaped and smoothly textured tools. I want more folks to
enjoy them and as it has NEVER BEEN ABOUT MONEY
with me - I don't mind making less on them, hoping to sell even more. If the truth
be known, in my effort to help folks - I've probably given away as many
KitchenSticks over the years as I've sold.
The new prices I have on these ... A 2pak will sell for $5 - plus $3.50 shipping.
Any order with a North Carolina ship to address will also
have to pay our sales tax. Shipping on larger orders is figured by weight. I
make no money on shipping.
David Weatherly from WGHP-TV
in High Point NC came over and taped a segment of "Roy's Folks"
- a human interest story which airs each afternoon on their 6 o'clock news ...
This 2-3 minute segment shows some interesting person or event from across NC
that has caught their eye. David is the producer and contacted
me so that he could come a few weeks ago and filmed a segment on my bowl
making. You can see
the link to it on my home
page at the bottom of the page. I am amazed at the interest my bowls receive, and I feel he
did a good interview. David called me just before my
spine surgery wanting to come over but after hearing about all the health
problems I was having at the time graciously said he'd wait until I was in better shape to
come over. He noticed my "News Page" here recently where I was reporting how
well I am doing so he figured I might be ready to be on his
show. I was happy to oblige but hated for more folks to be exposed to my work and
be disappointed when I don't have enough to sell them one.
But A few minutes after it aired I got the following email
... please give it a good reading ...
God bless you sir!
While watching Fox 8 news this afternoon, there was a brief
clip of you making your bowls and your lovely grand-daughter faithfully by your
side. Nothing, not one thing, has brought so much joy to my soul as to see a man
with a craft; that turned into a talent, and now hopes to pass that blessing
along with his prodigy!
I haven’t priced any of your works of art yet, but, there will
be a few wrapped in pretty foil for my people back in New Mexico around
Christmas time. The beauty you capture in nature’s workings simply leaves me
open mouthed and wanting more. I thank you for sharing your story with Fox 8. I
thank you for having the talent to make enough for more than just your family to
enjoy! I thank God I was able to see a man do what he liked, was good at, and
could make many others happy while smiling himself.
Be blessed my brother, I surely am right now…
Patrick Springs, VA
you will to imagine someone writing this to you - having something that
regularly bring these feelings from someone who doesn't know you. ... it
absolutely Awes Me ! God has blessed me with a talent that I have worked hard to
maximize but it still humbles me to receive something such as the letter above.
I take no credit for
the beauty of my bowls. God alone makes this beauty. I simply find it, and hopefully make the correct cuts in the making of the block that would become the bowl. Then I chip away keeping the desired finished shape in mind, and hopefully ending up with something pleasing to the eye that shows off the beauty that I pictured was
there within the tree to begin with..
The on-line part
started due to a dear friend that I love as a brother named
and his wife Tami
of Chapel Hill, NC - two die hard "CarolinaTarheel
fans (no not really), I say that when kidding "Duke" fans.
Their generosity helped me get this website started and I will always thank them
for it. I still love Tom as I do my own brothers.
In 2012 & 2013 I really got to know these guys and Love them all. Pictured
with me here is Larry Cordle, Jody King, Me, Don Rigsby and Mike Anglin. These
guys sound absolutely great together and you can see and feel the love that they
have for what they are doing in every performance. As soon as the Sunday night
performance was thru, Don had to catch a plane to New York as he was playing
Carnegie Hall Monday night with Alan Jackson and was also on the Dave Letterman
show Tuesday night. Great honors for a great musician. All of these guys
are among the best you'll find.
Thank each and every one of you folks that
have visited my website over the years who feel that the bowls I make - or my
KitchenSticks are something of importance
to you. Y'all buy up every bowl that I can make and are always contacting me
wanting more, and recently the KitchenSticks continue to get some great reviews.
KitchenSticks are selling better as
folks are seeing just how useful they really are. I stand by them and will give
anyone who buys them their money back if they aren't completely satisfied with
the KitchenStick and the many uses each one offers. If you'll use one for cooking just 3 meals you'll be wanting one in
your hand every time you're in the kitchen. I make them all myself, going from
the solid log to the finished KitchenStick here in my little shop and
under the shelter beside the shop.
And as I have many times - I want
to one again thank Tom and Tami McGraw of Chapel Hill, NC for their friendship in the past
and for the faith that they
had in me several years ago. I've loved Tom
like a brother since the 80's and always will. Several years ago they sent me a check for $500 to buy whatever it would take to start-up
this website. He believed I could make it in to something. I knew NOTHING at all about website design, and I'm sure you can
easily tell by
looking at it today that I still ain't got a clue. I bought Windows Front-page
2003 and spent 2 weeks literally working from 3-3:30am till midnight and
sometimes later - trying to
learn how to build it - taking pictures of bowls and learning to use
photo editing programs. It was a long slow process but you folks made
it the #1 site on the internet for "handmade wooden bowls" for
many years. And I average
around 80,000 hits a month.
you all for all for your loyalty and for visiting my site as you do. ...JP
low priced Christmas Gift !!!
A bunch of folks said
that my KitchenSticks were
"the perfect Christmas gift for someone hard to buy for"
and they backed up their comments by buying them for their family, friends,
Sunday school class members and folks that they work with.
They definitely make cooking a meal easier and this was said to me time after
time as I dealt with folks wanting more of them for family and friends.