Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Artist Interview: Paul Fosmark (my Dad!!)

One of his pieces. Authentic farm sticks!

I know I used this picture of him already, but it is so cute I had to use it again! My Dad is a preacher, and has been a Pastor forever (as long as I have been around). But when my parents get to go out and stay at their farm, they shed the dress-up clothes and shampoo :) for their overalls and bug spray!!!!

They love the farm and they have taken it from a ramshackle old house and over grown yard and transformed it into the cutest little cottage, gorgeous gardens, carpentry workshop, guest pond house, and beautiful little vacation spot. They have worked so hard, and been so ingenious at making a home out of things they have built (or sewn, or gathered from a thrift store or auction). Before vintage or flea markets were cool- my parents where doing it!

handmade fences

Here he is telling me how he will take this deer antler and make it into a hook for the wall.

Most of the things my Dad builds are out of necessity. Here is a well that he built for the farm (or I guess it is the cover for a well.)

My Dad's pride and joy! He says that this is the ladies room :) He built this for anyone who stays in the pond house (a little tiny cabin out at the farm, set away from the house a little and too far for someone who may need to use the bathroom in the night). I have never slept in the pond house for this reason. The boys almost slept in the pond house- but when we did a trial run at naptime they didn't last too long.

This is the kitchen in the pond house. These are the kinds of chairs that my parents like and collect by the side of the road when someone has thrown them away.

A nifty little candle holder. I am assuming you made this, Dad. He wasn't with me half of the time that I went around taking pictures.

He has made a lot of bird houses. How many do you think, Dad? Maybe we should have a contest....if anyone can guess how many birdhouses you have made they can have one?!?!?!

Taking the grand kids for a ride

A bench my Dad made from a wagon seat

Bird feeder

Dad built the wagon and they have collected the wooden toys

In the workshop. The owner before us used to be a tin worker of some kind so there were all of these scraps of this and that.

the workshop

The potting shed that Dad built

the woodpile

And here is his Bible. Almost every single page in the whole Book are like this.

Here is our interview:

Sara- When did you start building?

Dad- I was always building when I was a kid on Vashon Island. We would use driftwood, and whatever we could find. We would make boats, cabins, forts. I basically learned how to build for myself. In college I worked for a carpenter. We would do roofing and fix fences, etc.

Sara- How did you figure out how to build twig furniture? (so sorry I don't have a picture of these. He had built several pieces of twig furniture and some got wrecked from being outside, and I think someone sat on a chair and it broke)

Dad- I saw them in a store and thought that I could try it. I wanted to do this because we have so many trees, so the material was readily available.

Sara- I know that you used to have a different hobby every year, how did that start?

Dad- when I was in my 20's I was a youth pastor and going to seminary. I started to have heart pains and the Dr. told me I needed to have a hobby to take my mind off of the stress of my job and school. So we decided to have a different hobby each year. There were the tropical fish. We had 3 tanks of fish. Then there were the rose bushes. We had 18 rose bushes. There was photography, and antiques and refinishing furniture. We had horses at our camp, so we would ride those. Of course we love to read books, and also fishing. Now we just have the farm as a hobby!

Sara-So building stuff really is your hobby now?

Dad-Well, since we have come to the farm, it is a necessity. And also we have so many of the materials here, wood, old barn boards, etc. We come out here to work and it is really relaxing.

Sara-Where do some of your ideas come from?

Dad- Well, I can remember how I worked out the design for the outhouse. We were at the oncology dept of the hospital (this was when Mom had breast cancer and had to get radiation treatments, she is fine now!). The people in the waiting room were always so stressed and worried looking. There was a man sitting there and I sat down by him and asked him if he had ever built an outhouse before. The man was a little surprised and I told him why I wanted to know, and he helped me work out the plans.

(Dad- you will have to excuse if the details aren't exact. You remember when we were doing this interview and "we" would get off on the rabbit trails- so some of my notes seem to have some holes....)

Dad- Anyway, it is fun to build things you can use.

Sara- What kind of tools would you buy if you had the chance?

Dad- Miter saw. A reciprocating saw- this is very versatile and portable. The key to anything is to have the right tools. I have collected tools from my Dad. Also, my shop is very important. You need a shop and a workbench. I have gotten some great tools at yard sales, I have picked them out of the trash, or the city clean up day! (when people put anything out on the curb and the garbage men will pick it up- if there is anything left!)

One thing that is very valuable to me is the battery powered drill. (and then he mentions an impact drill and an air nailer which I can't remember if he needs them or values them....) Next time I will record the interview then you can hear the jokes....

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Dad! You are truly one of the most creative people I know. You and Mom can make anything beautiful. And your hard work is such an inspiration! I love you!!!


Jeremy and Amy said...

Wow, love their stuff!!! They are so creative; now we know where you get it :)

tacky said...

What a wonderful conversation! I can hear Uncle Paul talking and laughing now! As for the neat garden accents and twig furniture...I am inspired to continue looking at yard sales, garbage pick-up, and second-hand stores! It is in the genes I tell you!

Pam said...


I can see where you get your creativity!

Sue said...

Wow, Sara! I feel like I just visited my Grandpa - that was him about 30-40 years ago (he died in 1985). My Grandpa had Finnish parents and grew up in MI's upper penninsula. Maybe it's a northern way of life :). What a neat family you have and as they say, "the nuts don't fall far from the tree." I mean that in the best way, of course :).

Connie Carlson said...

What a delight! This entry made my day! Love, Aunt Connie

Sew Pink said...

I loved reading this post. I have very fond memories of your parents. I always thought you got your creativity from your mum. I never knew your dad was such an artist. Please give them my regards next time you're talking to them.

By the way this blogging thing is very addictive!! I'm up half the night reading. Gotta get some discipline in my life, or get a LIFE!!! Thanks for your comment the other day on my new blog, you were my first.- Charla

Dramagirl said...

Enjoyed the interview! I can also "hear" Uncle Paul talking with his animated tone throughout your script. Very fun!:)

Momto5 RachelJoy Photography said...

nice post!!

creative pics!! Nice to meet your dad!!!!

Priscilla said...

Thanks - not only could I picture Paul talking but the pictures took me back to our visit of the farm. It is a charming place & I want to go back again!

It is such fun being with your folks when they are bargain hunting!! It is a like going on a field trip.

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