Wednesday, November 4, 2020

I Am A Genius


I am a Genius! By Bill Russo

I met Albert Einstein in 1953, two years before he would pass away.. I was twelve years old.

Einstein would vacation in a little town called Cutchogue, N.Y. He would meet with other great minds outside of Rothman’s general store on Main Rd. Max Planck, Neils Bohr and other physics minded people would talk about atoms, matter, space and of course, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

One day, as I was passing Einstein who was sitting on a big rock along Long Island Sound, with no one to talk to and looking quite sad, I walked over to him and asked if he was alright. He smiled and said that he was fine but was having trouble with his now famous equation, E=mc 2 . “I can’t remember what the E stands for” he said.

“I know what it stands for. It stands for Entenmann’s. They make great cakes, cookies and all sorts of things. If you try one you will feel much better.”


The great physicist thanked me and then I said I would check on him the next day. So I did.

“You are a genius, my boy! A genius!!. I had an Entenmann’s coffee ring..The whole thing! It was delicious and I feel so much better. Thank you for curing my sad feelings from yesterday. Always remember, you are a genius. People always tell me that I am a genius so if I am a genius and say that ‘you are a genius’ it is most assuredly true! You, my boy, are a genius!”

When I went to high school and did poorly in all of my math classes I was sure that my teachers didn’t know they were dealing with a genius....but I knew I was. Einstein said so...By the way, if I say that you too are a genius then be assured that you are one. After all, I should know.

Below is an excerpt from the NY Times.

 At a corner of Main Road in downtown Southold, the North Fork of old is converging with all that is new.

Rothman’s Department Store, a bric-a-brac shop that has sold everything from thumbtacks to toasters since 1918, has moved down the block. In several months, its old home will reopen as Einstein Square. Named for the famous physicist who once spent a summer nearby, the new development will include rental apartments and a retail store around a pedestrian plaza.



Monday, November 2, 2020

It Is Art .... by Bill Russo

 It’s Art!

I made this carving from one piece of wood. When I do these things the mind (such as it is) has to focus and plan. It’s easy to cut a piece away that you might need if you don’t pay attention. The good part of carving is that the brain is busy and the problems of the world get lost in the sawdust.

I put the thing on the tv stand. It wasn’t quite finished but I like to stop and look at how things are going. Something was wrong but I couldn’t figure it out..I just left it there awhile..

Myra came into the room and took a look at the project. “What is it?” she said.

“It’s art. It’s just a thing I enjoyed carving.”

“I see a book and a finger..No wait. It’s a hand and they are on top of a ball in a box. It’s another ball in the box thing but why the book and the hand? Is it a softball? Pickleball? Is it a book about the rules? What are you trying to say?”

“It’s just art” said Bill, the would be artist.


“I know you. There’s a hidden meaning here somewhere. Is it a book about carving? Is it a book about all those Harley stories? Is it another collection of Dragoo-Jones stories?”

“It’s just a wooden book. Nothing is on the pages. It’s just art.”

“Oh”, said the art critic... “I get it. It’s like that wood spoon with the shark entwined in it. I wondered what the relationship was but you said it was just art so I guess it was. I like it.”

And then Bill asked, “Do you like the box and ball that has no purpose and the book about nothing and the hand that’s pointing to nothing for no reason?”

“Yes..Of course. I like them all. They’re on the wall and in the display case, right?”

I remember when my Mom hung my scribbles on the refrigerator. She said she liked them too. (Myra really must like them otherwise they would all be in the shed, outside)

Oh by the way..After looking at the latest “Art” for a while I found out what was wrong. The hand had six fingers.....It’s easier to take one finger off than it is to grow a new finger...

I have another confession....Although I carved it from one solid piece, the hand was so poorly done that I had to amputate it. I made a better one and fastened it to the rest of the project with Gorilla Glue and a dowel.

I always remember when Ralphie’s father received a “Major Award.” He was speechless. “Overcome by art”. That happens now and then...but rarely here.


Sunday, November 1, 2020

Native American Chainsaw Carving


Ukrainian artist Vlad Yaremenko shows the step by step creation of a remarkable work of art he made using a chainsaw. Turning the massive stump into a Native American with wolves is truly a fascinating process to watch and the finished product is amazing. If you enjoyed this you might also like to see a Cool Chainsaw Carving by artist Jordan Anderson.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Wooden Water Pipes


Medieval Water Pipes

These wooden pipes were crucial to providing water to Medieval Edinburgh.

To read the story the rest of the story.....CLICK HERE

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Grains of Rice...


NO ONE IS PICKIER ABOUT rice than Guorui Chen. The 33 year old only accepts rice grains longer than 7 millimeters (1/4 inch), and they have to be white, clear, straight, and undamaged. Every day, he separates intact grains from broken ones with a winnowing basket and then spends hours examining their transparency under a light.

But Chen won’t cook this rice. Instead, he turns it into art. He picks out three grains, glues them end to end into a triangle, and connects hundreds of these basic units to form shapes: a horse, a lotus flower, a temple. In his hands, rice turns into aesthetic hollow sculptures. They appear so delicate that every joint looks liable to break, but in fact, they are sturdy enough to be lifted up and moved.

To read here...

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

How to Use a Bench Chisel

As a young boy, I used a blunt old chisel to open cans of paint (and you know what they say about a hammer and everything else a nail…). Today, I use a sharp chisel as a cutting and shaping tool for doing joinery work, shaping forms and sometimes, sharpening my carpenter’s pencil. I’ll show you some ways of using a bench chisel with good results. 

The rest of the story...CLICK HERE

Thank you Lee Valley.

Thursday, April 23, 2020


Have you ever tried carving a spoon? We have seen some of the most simple and some of the most ornate spoons over the years. Some are used for serving and eating, others (like the Welsh lovespoons) are used traditionally as symbols of love, and others are used for decoration. No matter the purpose of the spoon they are sure fun to carve.

We recently posted a video on our blog showing how to 

Friday, March 27, 2020

A Wood Hobby For All

Thank you for the”heads up “ Demetrios D.

A new hobby for quarantine life...!
        CLICK HERE

More information on next page

Inspired to Make: Russ Zietz

From building log homes to making his own furniture to carving pieces of art, Russ Zietz has found his sanctuary and true passion in working with wood. His motto is “Just make things. You will never get bored if you start making things.” Watch now…