When you think of stop motion, claymation or photography are probably the two mediums that come to mind. But what about woodworking? Why do we always seem to forget about good old woodworking? There is a classic and primal beauty to this often overlooked craft. Architect-turned-master-woodworker Frank Howarth knows this all too well, so he decided to shine a spotlight on his chosen art form.
The Oregon-based artist took to Youtube to share his process with the world — but not in the way you’d expect. You won’t find any Macbook camera tutorials here. Instead he masterfully portrays the construction of various projects through stop motion.
On paper, it sounds kind of weird. Wood doesn’t dance like clay. You can’t tell a story with wood. It’s just a lot of sawing and drilling, right? Wrong! So very wrong. Howarth’s videos are magical in ways you would never expect. Watching the wood and tools seemingly take on a life of their own is captivating. Some of his videos run almost ten minutes, but you won’t want to look away. Hand saws move on their own in mid-air and pencils draw without hands. Think of it as a sort of makers version of Toy Story — it’s what we dream happens with our medium and tools when we walk away.
Aside from his stop motion pieces, Howarth also has a whole collection of other amazing woodworking videos. In most of them he films himself working away in his shop with a voiceover smoothly guiding us through his process. In a few of them his adorable kiddos even make a guest appearance as his handy helpers. Our favorite is this one about the snow day where Claire, Blake and their dad made a food table for their cat Coco.
We can’t put our finger on exactly why we love Howarth and his videos so much. In many ways they’re very simple, but that might be what makes them so great. Take away all the smart phones, gadgets and hustle and bustle of everyday life. For ten minutes we’re going to forget about all that and just watch this cool dad work away at this ancient craft, in his rustic Oregon wood shop. Okay?
Which of these videos was your favorite? Share a link to the video and let us know!
(h/t This is Colossal)