One of the more rewarding things about working with so many talented artists, is how they never cease to amaze you with their abilities.
The past couple of weeks have blessed me with the ability to spend time with artist Jeff Vodochodsky, inside the Hallowed Be Thy Grain wood shop where he works with his hands creating custom furniture and other works of art.
Upon arriving and entering, the first thing you notice in the shop, after the delicious smell of mesquite, is just how relaxing it is.
There’s a sturdy silence when you enter. Lights low, wood slabs casting straightline shadows, the room has presence.
Tuesday this week was a particularly busy day working, and though tired, something whispered it was a trip not to be missed.
Forever will I be grateful for the reward of showing up, as the trip was excellent. Time traveling again.
Old enough to still remember wood shop at my high school and young enough to be one of the last classes through.
Stepping into the Hallowed Be Thy Grain headquarters was more than just memories. It was walking into a full on immersive experience.
Whiff of the woodsy mesquite. The sounds. Plenty of sounds. Saw teeth biting, sander whooshing and gritting as the wood smooths below, four-inch hand brush sweeping fresh sawdust off of a slab. The clink of cold brews toasted to a good life.
It’s a cool place to be The wood shop always has, and may forever stand as a preserve of character and traditions. A preserve of craftsmanship, and attention to detail. You can see it all up close there.
It also offered refuge from unsatisfying particle board furniture. Refuge from the sounds of the city. Refuge from looming thoughts about project deadlines and emails to finish late that evening.
Have we even gotten to the wood yet?
Hallowed Be Thy Grain can be your go-to-experience for your next custom piece. If you simply wanted a stunning lazy-suzan for your countertop, or the full dinner table for twelve, Jeff is the craftsman for you.
Having only gotten into this work on a whim a little over a decade ago by answering the call to work with his uncle in a cabinet shop, he now moves with the skilled confidence of a seasoned carpenter.
Ever since that entry point he has chipped away at projects small and larger, but mainly as a hobby while he worked his regular jobs. If the large stock log piles, and extra hands on deck were any indication, it seems this is his regular now.
Out front in the driveway were freshly harvested logs, still full with gnarly burls, and planks of cut wood, and a custom bar he had readied for a client that afternoon.
On another cold morning at the shop, his apprentice Eric was along for some great conversation on life and large orders, like that of the beer sampler trays Alamo beer co commissioned them to make awhile back. The ability to produce multiples of a design is an important aspect of the growing business.
Nearby, a local man purchases wood dowels from Jeff that he then has further manufactured, and sells as beautiful woodgrain ink pens.
It was quite amazing to see and feel the raw materials in the shop, and then the finished pens which were quite nice.
Hallowed be thy grain operates out of a wood shop on the southside of San Antonio, and harvests wood locally. Jeff’s work can be found at hallowedbethygrain.com and on instagram at @hallowedbethygrain. He is also set up at local farmer’s markets during spring and summer.