What I do

I better get this down before it evaporates into the wake of a busy day.

What I do is a little bit of a mystery to me.

It is pretty easy to describe in very general terms what I do, but I know that I do a lot more. In general, in the most general sense, I make things. I take ideas and make them real, solid, usable. There’s a lot more than that though.

I am going to use much of my blog to explore the something else that I do. Of course I could make a list, write a few paragraphs, maybe add some pictures and get another description of what I do. It seems to me, though, that the accumulation of what a blog can accrete  may be the best way of presenting, even discovering, what I do.

In the process of creating my newest website I asked several past clients if they would write a few words about their experience with what I do. It was a little overwhelming, the response I got, and it opened my eyes to something I hadn’t paid conscious attention to for a long time. I’ll post these testimonials on my web site but I’d like to post at least one here. Jackie’s comments are a way of describing both a terra firma on which I could easily stand and as a terminus a quo, a place from which to launch from. Here’s Jackie’s quote:

Todd Fillingham is the best kept secret of a craftsperson in Milwaukee. He has a beautiful portfolio of lovely, creative and usable furniture. I have known Todd for 25 years but it was only when I heard his name sponsoring an NPR show did I think- “he is the one to design a perfect table for our newly remodeled kitchen.” And I was right. He looked at the site, he listened to my ideas, he did an array of drawings, he made a few alterations after discussions and he used both his sense of design and what I wanted with his skill and computer savvy to do a picture of a table that is exactly what he then produced in beautiful cherry wood. We thought the price was reasonable for this utilitarian piece of art.

Jackie Boynton

OK, I’m not going to be posting a lot of testimonials here, that’s not my point and I get a little uncomfortable doing it, just as I get uncomfortable doing most of my marketing. But I do interact with people and in that interaction there is an exchange of money, sometimes a lot of money, but also of ideas, needs and desires and I try to use all of my skills in visualizing, designing, building and making to go beyond a simple commercial transaction.

This exploration will be far from linear and will explore many things far afield. I just hope that the inevitable tangents curve back in to the center yet to be discovered. Menicus once said, “The tao is near and people seek it far away.” Maybe we need to approach it from far away sometimes.

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