Doug Stowe in his Eureka Springs Workshop
I recently interviewed Doug Stowe, woodworker, artisan, author, and all-around good-guy, for The Ozark Harvest Radio Hour. The interview will air on Saturday, March 3rd. You can catch the podcast here.
We interviewed Doug because his story seems to exemplify how so many people came to live in our little bit of the Ozarks, and why they've stayed. Doug, who grew up in Nebraska, became a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War and was assigned to alternative service in Memphis, Tennessee. There, he also attended school, became a potter, and wandered west to Eureka Springs over a long weekend.
As has happened to so many of us, he fell in love with the town, the people, the natural beauty of our hills and rocky valleys...and decided to stay. Our radio interview covers "what happened next" and focuses on Doug's transformation from hippie carpenter to internationally recognized teacher, how-to author, and apostle for knowing and understanding the wisdom that emanates from our hands. We hope you'll tune in on March 3rd.
In the mean time, visit Doug's quite Jungian inspired blog The Wisdom of the Hands to discover his thoughtful essays on subjects ranging from toddlers and IPhones, to handedness and the mind, to advice to travelers in alternative universes--and more.
Of that alternative universe--one that many of us have discovered here in the splendid Ozarks--Doug writes:
"When we wander into the world without roots, we miss the depths. In my alternate proposed universe of community and craftsmanship, our eyes are opened to other things. Beyond money charted on spreadsheets, there are people putting people to work doing their finest. I can hardly explain to those who have not lived in Eureka Springs or someplace like it, how being a part of such a place, being woven into the fabric of community, feels and what it means. I have been so lucky."
A bit more of a work-a-day and every-day Doug Stowe appears in periodicals such as Fine WoodWorking magazine. At the magazine's link you'll see an excerpt from Doug's DVD on "Re-sawing and Grain-Matching," a reference, in part, to the various woods that he has milled from our local forests--and then mills even further into thinner dimensions. I suppose the non-woodworking person need not still their beating heart while watching the DVD, but what stands out for everyone is how skilled and approachable a teacher Doug is.
I have three of the seven books written by Doug, which are published by Taunton Press and are available at most chain bookstores, on Amazon, and at his website.These books are written for the intermediate or above craftsman, and beginners or novices are unlikely to possess the skills or the tools to completely benefit from them. On the other hand, recyclers of found and salvaged materials, like me, will be inspired and instructed by the books because they present a skill-set that they can aspire to. The books are also a convincing rationale for buying very expensive saws, blades, and clamps.
Boxes and furniture made by Doug Stowe are available in better Eureka Springs shops or, they can be custom made by contacting him at his website. And, to learn more about Doug, and how he arrived in Eureka Springs, watch for his interview on The Ozark Harvest Radio Hour.