top of page

Change is coming, I reckon.

People seem to hate change. I love it. I'll randomly shave off my beard or head. get a new tattoo without thinking it over, I'll switch up shoe styles, I used to go through relationships and want the chaos and excitement of the breakup and the change that would occur with it. It keeps life exciting and unexpected. I dig it. Tuggle's Timber has improved a lot since I started in 2018/2019, but it really hasn't changed.

It’s honestly a little blurry how Tuggle’s Timber began. I think of a piece of art I made for my wife when we were dating. She came over to my house and noticed an old porch swing in my neighbors yard and said she liked it. I went out and salvaged the wood since he was throwing it away. I was going to make a picture frame out of the peeling green wood that was dry rotted. I had no idea how to make a picture frame, but I’m typically a pretty fast learner and very stubborn, so I assumed I could get it done. I was wrong. I ended up making a simple design that is one of the only Tuggle's Timber pieces in our home. I glued the wood to some plywood and called it art. I think I used some stainless steal finishing nails for some reason.

For Christmas that year, I decided to try a large piece of art made out of wood. I salvaged some lathe found in a dumpster near an abandoned house here in Indianapolis. I went to my Uncle Randy’s house and used some of his power tools and made my first geometrical wood art design and gave it to her. She loved it. I hate(d) it. I didn’t know how to do a frame, so to this day - it’s still frameless. It now hangs in my workshop on my ‘Wall of Shame’ . A small portion of the shop is dedicated to a few pieces that are really bad, just to remind myself that I’m not all that great at this wood art thing. I started making pieces for family and friends and slowly it became a thing. I’ve been doing it full-time since January of 2020. It’s a cool thing I get to do. Here is a pic of me and my first "workshop" I owe all my old neighbors a dinner or two. They had to have been so annoyed.

I got into an amazing groove. I am able to complete a 2x4 piece of art in 2 days. At one point in 2021-2022 I had over 30 custom orders queued. That’s pretty insane to me honestly. Thank you so much if you ever ordered a custom order, it really blew my mind that so many of you were interested in my art. It’s now July 7th 2023 and I am currently finishing up my last custom order. I will have 0 custom orders lined up for the first time since 2020 sometime. That’s so crazy to think about. Custom orders make sense from a business standpoint. Abstract art is such a subjective thing and if you’re purchasing it, why not get a color scheme and some elements that you know you’ll like? I get it. BUT. Custom orders are draining. There is a lot of pressure I put on myself and I stress over them way too much. When customers pick up their custom order, I always hope I’m not the one to be at our store due to worrying it won't be what they were hoping for. Luckily I have only had one custom order where a customer wasn’t excited about it, and that was honestly my bad - I just had the colors way wrong. I was able to correct it and he was pumped. Here those two are.

First Try -

The Redemption -

If I ever have mailed your custom order to you and never received an email or text from you about it - I assume you hate it and it’s at a goodwill currently. Custom orders are also great because it’s guaranteed money. I know if I finish 4 custom orders this month, that is $X which is nice to budget around.

The problem I’m having with custom orders is - I’m not growing as an artist. I’m making art to make money - vs making it for creative purposes. Due to time constraints and assuring my clients are happy with their custom orders, I’m far less likely to expand my techniques or style. If they are expecting the classic Tuggle’s Timber look, I can’t really give them something that looks way different. This has put me in a funk. I love making these geometric wood art things. It’s super fun and super rewarding, but I want to expand. I want to try new things. I want to get better too.

I posted recently on Instagram how I’m going to be shifting things soon. I received so many messages asking to see pics, or info on the change. I didn’t realize so many of you were that interested in my wood art! Maybe that’s silly of me since I guess you follow my Instagram where I only post wood art and an occasional ‘Wood you rather’ on my story. I figured I would just do this blog post rather than responding to all the messages I received. I don’t have any good pics yet, so if you’re looking for some pics of the new stuff - sorry my dudes. I’m currently considering hiring someone to help with social media/pics/reels so If you are interested, let me know.

Historically Tuggle’s Timber pieces all have a similar feel to me. They have hard lines and mostly 45 degree angles. All with a center point pointing inwards. I used to use a lot of reclaimed wood, then pine, and now mostly oak. I’ve started to see more beauty in wood vs seeing it as a medium. If a strip of wood has a good wood pattern I’m more apt to keep the paint off of it in order to show the natural beauty of the wood. The classic Tuggle’s TImber piece is very vibrant with multiple color patterns. Most pieces have at least 3 colors and one wood stain. I go crazy with color. I currently have a heavy duty 4 drawer file cabinet, the kind you see in big offices full of accordion files, full of spray paint. It’s a little absurd honestly, but I always want to be sure I have the shade that’s stuck in my head. For the frame, I have always just used a super simple butt joint - again this is based mostly on time. If I can finish a frame quickly, I can shift to the next custom order.

Maybe I’ll still make these classic designs from time to time. They are fun to do, and I’m pretty fast at doing them and I can put a relatively low price tag on them. I currently have maybe 50-70 in stock between my store and the two other stores I’m currently selling at in Indiana. I’m going to attempt to get them all on the website for purchase too - but I've been saying that for about a year now. Maybe when I accept the custom order here and there, I’ll say ‘sure, i’ll do that type of style.’ For the most part though - I’m ready to change it up.

In January of this year I started playing around with an idea I had that focuses on smaller pieces. I finally tried it out a few months back between custom orders. I ended up throwing the piece into the burn barrel due to a lot of flaws, but I loved it. It was different. It had a different feel. It was challenging. I haven’t seen a lot of wood art like it, so that also feels refreshing to me. The newer Tuggle’s Timber is going to look like this.

Essentially there will be a small centered spot with rounded edges. Surrounding pieces will go outwards and eventually have no direction where you are drawn to. Think a traditional mandala. Some will have 3D effects similar to the old video game Qbert, utilizing different colored diamonds to create patterns. I'm going to keep this website more up-to-date. With each edition, I'll update the colors of the website in hopes to hint at what is coming in the next edition. I’m going to utilize more quality framing joints and focus on ‘series of art.’ The new way of doing these pieces requires me to cut, sand, paint/oil/stain the pieces, allow them to dry, attach to the backer, and then measure for the next layer or row of wood. So - a very lengthy process. Historically when I work on a piece - I work on one at a time and I don’t need to paint and dry between each row, I just paint after all pieces are cut. I don’t have to be as accurate (for the most part) after learning a few tricks of deceiving your eyes. My solution will be to focus on 30-40 pieces at once. I’m currently building a shelving unit to store all 40 of a series. I can work on piece number one, and while that's drying - I can move on to number 2. Hopefully, by the time I get to piece number 40, piece number one is dry and ready for its next step. I’m hopeful that I can complete a series in 2, maybe 3 months and then start a new one with a different color scheme.

Naming pieces is so hard for me. It feels funny to name them since that’s what real artists do and I’m just some guy gluing wood together. I usually send pics to my friend Luke and he texts me the first thing that comes to his head. Sometimes if I have a large number of pieces to name at once, I'll pick an album and name each one a different song off that album. It doesn’t feel very personal to me really. With thinking of a series of art and how to make them feel even more meaningful to me, I’ve decided to name each series after someone, or something that I truly love, or that is incredibly important to me. I can then pick names based off of that thing or person such as inside jokes, memories, that type of thing.

My first series that I hope to release by October, is named “The Holman” after one of my best friends who I love very much, Jesse Holman. The next series is also planned and I’ll share more info on that one once I finish the first series. I’ll attempt to do a detailed blog post of the process of creating The Holman, and I hope it's something you all dig. I also expect Jesse, to be extremely critical of a series of art named after him and for him to tell me how he would have done it differently.

Thanks for reading.


132 views2 comments
bottom of page