Shaker Woods Shakerwoods Festival Columbiana, Ohio
Shaker Woods Shakerwoods Festival Columbiana, Ohio Shaker Woods Shakerwoods Festival Columbiana, Ohio Shaker Woods Shakerwoods Festival Columbiana, Ohio

Shaker Woods ~ Festival Articles: Archive


Menkel: Two Families Become One Crafting Wood Jewelry Boxes

Richard and Lisa Menkel and their son Michael Franklin are the artisans that make up Against the Grain: RLM Designs. This is their first appearance at Shaker Woods. Together, they turn domestic and exotic hardwoods into functional pieces of art. The jewelry boxes they create are the culmination of hours of hard work and lots of love.

Twenty-seven years ago, Richard made a little wooden duck for a neighbor. She loved it and he was asked to make another one. The next thing he knew, neighbors, friends, coworkers and strangers started asking him if he could build them something. While doing this, he discovered a passion for woodworking and the process involved in crafting it into various things. He began making small household items for local craft shows and fell in love with building and selling wood crafts.

About six years ago, Richard met Lisa while taking classes for a master’s degrees. They became friends and got to know each other outside the classroom. When Lisa found out about his woodworking, she offered to help. While she hadn’t done any woodworking before, she was excited to learn a new skill and was a quick learner.

Soon afterward Lisa’s oldest son Michael (though he prefers to be called Franklin) asked Richard to help him build a wedding gift. Michael didn’t have experience with power tools or woodworking, so Richard showed him some techniques and tools to use. Michael was a natural and loved working on the gift so much that Richard asked him to help with the shop. And the rest is history.

“The three of us work well together. So well in fact that I asked Lisa to marry me,” Richard said. The couple married in November 2015 and work in the garage behind the house where they live in Washington, Pa.

This trio is a great team. Each has a particular set of skills and brings something unique to the shop. Richard has an eye for rough cut lumber. With a well-trained eye, he sees the potential for beauty by matching grain patterns and colors. Michael has only been cutting on a band saw for a few years, but is very creative and as quick a learner as his mother. Lisa hand sands and stains all the pieces bringing out the natural beauty and colors of the various woods.

The boxes aren’t just beautiful to look at; they’re useful pieces to store precious or even daily used items such as rings, watches, necklaces, cuff links, glasses, keys, keepsakes and collectibles. You can see examples of their work on Facebook, but for a truly breathtaking experience make sure to visit them at booth 143.

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Shaker Woods Shakerwoods Festival Columbiana, Ohio

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