First Fruits of our Kickstarter Campaign

When we conceived of this Kickstarter, we knew we could not phone in the campaign. Making a film about Wendell Berry obliged us to factor our decisions continuously.  Everywhere possible, we sought to make choices to self-exemplify the values that the film celebrates. 

Our curation of Kickstarter rewards provided us once such opportunity to go against the trend. Instead of cheap and easy, we elected to offer handmade goods from genuine artisans. Once the campaign funded, we were thrilled to be able to produce them.  Now that the first fruits of those efforts are appearing, we are even more excited.

As you may remember, co-producer Nick Offerman offered a handcrafted original stool for anyone who backed our film the $2,000 tier.    Here they are freshly oiled and almost ready to ship.

 Stools with Wedged Tenon, Claro Walnut Seats, Eastern Black Walnut Legs

Stools with Wedged Tenon, Claro Walnut Seats, Eastern Black Walnut Legs

OWS dropped a photo of the beauties on Instagram which prompted comments like "Gorgeous!" "Can I purchase these? So lovely!" and "Swoon-worthy!!"

 Official Offerman Woodshop Instagram

Official Offerman Woodshop Instagram

 Some of the Team at Offerman Woodshop (Drift Journal)

Some of the Team at Offerman Woodshop (Drift Journal)

When I learned that Laura Dunn was making a Wendell Berry documentary, I immediately alarmed her with the enthusiasm of my enquiry. ‘Please let me do whatever I can to help your film! I will coil cable, I will sweep the barn, I will make sandwiches, I’ll wrangle livestock! I’m great with sheep! You name it!’ Laura placatingly said that she had those areas well-covered, but that I could possibly serve as a valuable cheerleader and fundraiser for the effort – so, after I calmed down, that is what I have proudly become.

As she was editing the picture, Laura happened upon a section in which Mr. Berry talks about artists making things, including a stool, and she thought it would be neat to have some footage of just such a stool being made, and, lucky for me, I just to happen to make things like stools in my woodshop. We brought in a gorgeous Arri Alexa camera and shot my hands and my tools and some California walnut with a great deal of personality as I fashioned it into a 3-legged stool with mostly vintage hand tools. My face never appears, and so I believe it is the finest film work I have done to date. I am sincerely humbled and honored to have the chance to support this beautiful poem of a film, espousing the world view of our most important American writer and thinker…
— Nick Offerman, American Woodworker

That guy, he 's good people. For the curious, here's a lovely piece on Offerman Woodshop that profiles a few different members of the OWS team.  We are especially indebted for RH Lee for all the help on this project.