Woodworker Bill Hamilton said he doesn’t know what he’ll make from the wood he has in his shop right away. Sometimes, he has to wait for the inspiration.
‘I build stuff’

Los Alamos resident Bill Hamilton can tell you a lot about working with wood, everything from how to get the most from every piece and how to bring out its colors.

What he can’t tell you, though, is how he does what he does – creating works of art that also function as tables, play alphabet and numbers blocks for children, cutting boards, tree stands, wine stands, or whatever he feels like building at the time.

His talent, he said, has a lot to do with patience and the type of wood he happens to have in his shop. Whatever the end product is though, he has to know a little bit about the pieces of wood he’ll use, much like those that collect cars or fine wines need to know about grapes or serial numbers. It has to have potential.

Hamilton points to a piece of natural walnut in his shop as an example.

“Sometimes it takes me two to three years to figure out in my head what I’m going to do with it. But if it is a nice piece of wood, it has a nice grain, it has a nice shape, that’s what I like to buy,” Hamilton said.