JP's News and Such:
"Chippin' Right Along"
Bowls For Sale On-Line
it great to be alive!!!
I haven't been making any bowls for the
past several weeks. I have bought a building for local sales and have taken the
last few weeks off to simply relax a little and do some things just for the fun
of it. My health continues to be on a slippery slope so I have been doing things
at a slower pace. I let the "powers that be" at the NC State fair know that I
wouldn't be returning for the 2017 NC State Fair. It takes a lot of time to have the setup that I have had there,
and considering the mess I've been in physically - it has really been hard to
get it all done from one fair to the next. You're looking at 14 hour days at
least 5 days a week from the time I get home from one fair - until I get packed
up for the next. Having what I've faced physically really has made it a major
undertaking. Try getting up at 1:45am every morning so you can punch in at
2:30am ... get off at 10:30 then get in the shop and work until 5:30 or so every
night - 5 days a week. I've done this for years, always wanting to have the best
setup at the fair and to bring as many folks thru those gates as I can. I got really bummed out
the first day I was there last year - really felt unappreciated, and I decided to end that
chapter of my life. Well, that's in the past now as I will not be back, and as soon as I
get my building ready I will have local sales here in Wentworth for anyone who
wants to come by to meet me or to buy my bowls, KitchenSticks, cutting boards or
Walking Sticks. I have discouraged "visits" in the past due to not being able to work
towards inventory for the fair and visiting at the same time - but now at this
slower pace I will gladly shake your hand and show you where they're made.
I've really enjoyed the past few days
reading some of the replies from folks who have just bought bowls and received
them. I really like to see the excitement (which was why I worked the NC State
Fair for 10 years) ... but with that being a done deal it is still exciting to
read your letters. I'll be adding more bowls to the website soon to go along
with those still on there.
I am also placing all of the customers
comments on my Customer Comments Page!
... here's 2 I got yesterday ...
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. I haven't been on-line in so long I have slipped
in the rankings so not as many folks will see these - but I WILL return to #1.
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 will verify to anyone who is the
first to request a bowl that they have in fact got it and we'll get the PayPal
done as we can, as I know folks tend to get out on the weekends and we'll get
together as we can.
I will also try to alert someone
ASAP that they DID NOT get the bowl they were wanting in the event they
had a 2nd, 3rd favorite.
To have the BEST chance ... feel free to
give me a listing of which bowls would suit you that way I can match you up
with something you want.
I want to thank everyone who bought bowls on
my "first day back" It feels good to have folks wanting what I have worked so
hard to make. I'll try to keep some bowls so that as wedding presents are
needed, or bowls for special occasions - you'll have a place to get them. Maybe
not being #1 in popularity is a good thing. By the way look in the top 20, and
you'll see probably 20 making bowls with a lathe... not my thing.
will NOT be at the NC State Fair this year. I demonstrated how
to make my bowls there every day of the fair for the past 10 years. I will miss the
folks who came to see me, many travelling all the way across the country
just to meet me and buy one or more of my bowls.
I was so honored to be a part of it,
and thank any of you who helped to make those days at the fair such great
I have some very large bowls that will
not be a part of the first sale due to not having the boxes until recently so
they'll be on SOON.
Check back during the week to see the
changes that I'll be making to the website.
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
for orders east of the Mississippi..
and a 3pak for $7.50 with $4.00 for shipping. Any sale in North Carolina will also
have to pay our sales tax. Shipping on larger orders is figured by weight. Any
orders over 500 miles away will pay exactly what USPS charges me.
still getting a lot of requests for bowls - even though I am no longer sending
any thru the mail - selling whatever I do sell only at the
NC State Fair.
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.