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Fathers and Sons: The Men of Etsy Team Shares Inspiration

Jun 20, 2010

by GalleriaDiGiani

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

This year as part of our Father’s Day celebration, we asked some of our male sellers to share stories about their grandfathers, fathers or children. Here, members of the Men of Etsy Team talk to Team Leader Giani (a.k.a. GalleriaDiGiani) about their personal father-related sources of inspiration.

Patrick Sikes of norskwoodshop‘s grandfather was a furniture maker, along with his father. After his grandfather passed, Patrick would spend hours in his workshop surrounded by wood, tools and equipment. He took comfort and peace from the family trade, waiting for some new inspiration to hit him. “Mountain living, military service, oil fields and family were the hallmarks of my grandfather’s life,” recalls Patrick. “From his legacy I learned the importance of patience and ingenuity with any project in life.”

Patrick remembered hearing many stories of projects his grandfather started but didn’t finish. There was the desk that was too big to fit through the shop door, and the time his grandfather destroyed his grandmother’s cooking pots by boiling wood to make his own water skis. Failures are character-building, Patrick would be told, accompanied by a thump on the head. His father’s philosophy was not much different. “If someone gives you a challenge, you have to give it a try at least once in your life. Even if you might not like it, you have to try.”

Growing up with four brothers on a sheep station in New Zealand, Marcus Gaylor of Toacarving loved the time he got to spend with his dad away from the rest of his family. Sometimes it would take 4 or 5 days to muster all the sheep in for shearing. Although there were other farm hands, and occasionally neighbors that would join them, since none of his brothers went along Marcus thought of these trips as his alone time with dad. There was one time when they had done all the mustering they could on horseback and had to do the rest on foot. As a child Marcus felt like his dad had the fastest walk in the world, and it was often a struggle just to keep up with him. As fast as he thought his dad walked on flat land, he seemed to move even more quickly when going uphill. Marcus once asked his father how this was possible. His dad replied, “Boy, when the road becomes hard, give it everything you got. The view from the top is better.”

William Matheson, a.k.a. MathesonGemWorks, discussed learning his trade from his grandfather. At 5 years old, William would follow his grandfather anywhere. If he was fishing, so was William. If he was in his lapidary shop, so was William. William can still recall the smells, the sounds, even the technique of work in the shop. He originally started out as a race car mechanic but after an injury forced him out of that line of work, William came home to his grandfather’s profession. He started by cabbing and  eventually moved on to faceting and carving stones, which is now his favorite thing to do. Jewelry design followed naturally from there.

William says his grandfather is still cutting to this day, and he finds it very special to be able to talk shop with him as a contemporary. “I am extremely grateful to him for all he has given me,” William says. “The gift of an art that is fun and fulfilling is one of the greatest gifts you can receive. If more of our fathers, and grandfathers, were to hand these dying arts down to their children and grandchildren, they wouldn’t be dying arts. His legacy will live on long after he is gone. I hope I can do him justice, and make him proud.”

Photo from William Matheson.

Karl of cabbingrough expands on William’s concept of passing down the trade. In Karl’s case though, he isn’t just inspiring his own children, he is inspiring a neighborhood. Karl had his own successful flooring company for years. However, due to multiple factors including the current economy and his wife Laura’s health, he closed the business two years ago. Laura started making jewelry as a way to help bring money into the house. One night, while looking at rock collections with the kids, he got the idea that he might be able to turn one of those stones into something Laura could use to make jewelry from. From that moment, their new business was born.

The kids have greatly benefited from having two stay-at-home parents. It has allowed Karl to take a more active role in their lives, and enabled them to be more involved in his life and business. Their five-year-old daughter can already identify many rocks and can even cut them herself. A few times a year, their ten- and eleven-year-old sons have a rock cutting party for their friends. The neighborhood kids now know Karl as “The Rock Man.” Laura shares this final thought: “I think the most amazing thing about my husband is, even when things were the hardest, he always stayed positive and upbeat. He is so patient and giving, and always finds something positive when things are at their worst. He has a way of talking to our kids so that they respect him, without even raising his voice. I think every kid in the world would be lucky to have a father like him.”

From these wonderful men and from the many other wonderful men of the Men of Etsy Team, we wish each and every father out there the happiest of Father’s Days.

Thanks to Giani and the entire Men of Etsy Team for sharing these touching tales and check out their blog for more information. Learn about Etsy Teams here and choose one to join or start your own!

Does your Team have any fatherly stories to share? Let us know in the comments.

More Father’s Day Posts | A Dude’s Perspective Series | Articles From Teams

78 comments

  • poplovedesigns

    poplovedesigns said 9 years ago

    It give such a warm feeling to hear about people who've taken their inspiration from family. Happy Father's day to all of Etsy's Papas out there! <3 Andrea

  • SeaFindDesigns

    SeaFindDesigns said 9 years ago

    Go dads!! Happy Father's Day to all!

  • recycledwares

    recycledwares said 9 years ago

    more wonderful father's day stories to make me miss my dad who is over 1000 miles away. i think today he is spending the afternoon at an outdoors event we went to a few years back on father's day. wish i could be there dad.

  • Kankou

    Kankou said 9 years ago

    I really enjoyed this and the selection is one of my favorite.

  • EvenAndy

    EvenAndy said 9 years ago

    YAY DADS!!!! Have a Very Happy Father's Day!!!

  • MelroseFields

    MelroseFields said 9 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your stories. Great items. Did not realize there was a Men of Etsy team.

  • lesthings

    lesthings said 9 years ago

    Great article,happy fathers day! Go men of etsy!!!:)

  • BeautifulPetra

    BeautifulPetra said 9 years ago

    I love this. xoxo, BeautifulPetra

  • NorthwestBridal

    NorthwestBridal said 9 years ago

    Thanks for sharing these stories! Happy fathers day!

  • candacejean

    candacejean said 9 years ago

    My dad is always there for me when I think up some new idea for my craft/art show booth display; he whips it up quick and it's always perfect. He's an artist of many mediums, and I get a lot of my creative energy from him. These stories are wonderful! I didn't know there was a Men of Etsy team; I think that's fantastic! Happy Father's Day!

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage said 9 years ago

    happy fathers day! great stories!

  • VictoriaGabrielle

    VictoriaGabrielle said 9 years ago

    GO DADS OF ETSY! I love my dad :] he's a huge source of inspiration for me.

  • VintageEye

    VintageEye said 9 years ago

    Thumbs up for Dads!

  • SoapyPleasure

    SoapyPleasure said 9 years ago

    Great article, thanks for sharing inspiration... Happy Father's Day Team! :D

  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts said 9 years ago

    Happy Father's Day all!

  • emmarts

    emmarts said 9 years ago

    Wonderful stories, thanks!

  • ZionShore

    ZionShore said 9 years ago

    Happy Fathers Day to all the Etsy dads!!

  • TheGinghamOwl

    TheGinghamOwl said 9 years ago

    Amazing:) Thanks for sharing these Fabulous stories:) Have a wonderful Father's DAY!

  • tdamji

    tdamji said 9 years ago

    Oh! Hey, 'Cabbing Rough' (first pic) is having a giveaway on my blog now! http://beingtazim.com

  • polkadotmagpie

    polkadotmagpie said 9 years ago

    Love these personal glimpses into the lives of Etsy sellers. Very cool. Happy Fathers Day.

  • bowersstudio

    bowersstudio said 9 years ago

    Great job with the article John. I'm thrilled to see that it features one of my favorite lapidaries - Karl of CabbingRough. Go Dads!!!!!

  • realfaery

    realfaery said 9 years ago

    Great article, thanks for sharing!

  • VogueVixens

    VogueVixens said 9 years ago

    Great story, and wonderful to hear from some of the men of Etsy! Happy Father's Day!

  • elizabethwrenvintage

    elizabethwrenvintage said 9 years ago

    Yay Dads! A great article : )

  • GalleriaDiGiani

    GalleriaDiGiani said 9 years ago

    Hmmm, I am not sure why my comment, listing the Men of Etsy Team blog's address, was not published, but another posting lists theirs and it gets through. So, rather than attempt to give the blog address, I will just say thank you for the opportunity to do the article, and thanks to the men who participated.

  • beachglassshop

    beachglassshop said 9 years ago

    makes me :)

  • bbbennyandthejet

    bbbennyandthejet said 9 years ago

    Beautiful! ;) Always love reading such inspiring and heartfelt pieces.. Happy Dad's Day!

  • akcArt

    akcArt said 9 years ago

    Great to see! It's what family is all about!

  • blueskyclouds

    blueskyclouds said 9 years ago

    Love hearing about creative men, passing it down.....

  • bhangtiez

    bhangtiez said 9 years ago

    Lovely stories...thanks 4 sharing them with us all!

  • thingsbuilt

    thingsbuilt said 9 years ago

    Just returned from my nieces graduation in Indiana. While there, I visited the old family cemetery to pay my respects to family members who had died since I was home last. It's out in the middle of a cornfield. Turns out the oldest grave marker is from my grandfathers great great great great grand father who severed in the American Revolution. Born in 1789 and died in 1836. He only served 160 days because he lied about his age. He was only 14 when he fought. He fought in Virginia and was later paid in land in what was then called Indiana Territory. So my niece is a Daughter of the American Revolution and thus may qualify for a scholarship for college. I'm 54 and I'm just finding all of this out. It was a wonderful trip.

  • yeganeart

    yeganeart said 9 years ago

    It is lovely to sharing so nice and special stories with us, Happy Father's Day to all...

  • rosebudshome

    rosebudshome said 9 years ago

    It is wonderful to hear all these stories of men who will spend time and knowledge with the family.

  • craftpile

    craftpile said 9 years ago

    Love the article! Happy Fathers day!

  • AdornedYou

    AdornedYou said 9 years ago

    Happy Father's Day :)

  • artangel

    artangel said 9 years ago

    These are great stories, perfect for Fathers' Day!

  • grandmamarievintage

    grandmamarievintage said 9 years ago

    Great article and very cool items!

  • rarebeasts

    rarebeasts said 9 years ago

    Cool and inspiring dad stories.

  • abodewell

    abodewell said 9 years ago

    Very inspiring article. Proud to be a member of this group. Happy Father's Day, everyone!

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 said 9 years ago

    Enjoyed these stories. Happy Father's Day!

  • IcingOnTheCupcake

    IcingOnTheCupcake said 9 years ago

    Happy Father's Day! Thank you for sharing your stories!

  • H2OCouture

    H2OCouture said 9 years ago

    I love the article! Happy Papa's Day!!

  • norskwoodshop

    norskwoodshop said 9 years ago

    Thanks for reading everyone! Happy Father's Day Dad!

  • davisdesignsau

    davisdesignsau said 9 years ago

    We learn a lot from our parents... nice to read some other's experiences! Happy Fathers Day USA! Fathers Day downunder is only in September :-)

  • cadencanyon

    cadencanyon said 9 years ago

    What a sick society Americans live in where the cycle of abuse is never-ending. http://www.mgmbill.org/ http://www.drmomma.org/2009/09/functions-of-foreskin-purposes-of.html Happy Father's Day.

  • RoughMagicCreations

    RoughMagicCreations said 9 years ago

    What a wonderful Father's Day feature!!! Really enjoyed reading all these stories!

  • TheNightjar

    TheNightjar said 9 years ago

    love these stories, so heart warming, thanks for sharing, they make me think of my own Dad too.

  • lamplightpottery

    lamplightpottery said 9 years ago

    Great article and thanks for including my mug. Just to let everyone know, my wife and I have combined shops and are now found at nightowlcraftworks.etsy.com

  • PinkPlastic666

    PinkPlastic666 said 9 years ago

    Awesome dads!

  • opendoorstudio

    opendoorstudio said 9 years ago

    3 cheers for the men of etsy! happy fathers day to those of you who are!

  • canopusz

    canopusz said 9 years ago

    mn.lldgjhgkjhkjlk

  • artwithallie

    artwithallie said 9 years ago

    Good job Dads!! So nice to read about your influences and how they've been passed down through family members. Worth a mention - Fathers Day in Australia is the first sunday in September.

  • nekochii

    nekochii said 9 years ago

    Well done! I wish you all a Happy Fathers day. :)

  • Fibrillaria

    Fibrillaria said 9 years ago

    Happy Father's Day - continue to create and inspire your children!

  • littlesev

    littlesev said 9 years ago

    This is a lovely, inspirational collection of stories. Happy Father's day!

  • cloverduke

    cloverduke said 9 years ago

    such a great entry...especially on father's day!! happy father's day!!

  • jcisco112

    jcisco112 said 9 years ago

    Lovely article!! Happy Fathers Day!!

  • maggiemaevintage

    maggiemaevintage said 9 years ago

    nice stories...thanks for sharing!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 9 years ago

    Cool stories, my dad always used to walk too fast too! Hope you all had a great fathers day : )

  • AutumnJo

    AutumnJo said 9 years ago

    Wonderful stories! Thanks for sharing your inspiration and I hope all of the etsy men had a great father's day!

  • sleepymoondesign

    sleepymoondesign said 9 years ago

    Lovely stories!

  • GalleriaDiGiani

    GalleriaDiGiani said 9 years ago

    Thank you Etsy, for offering us this opportunity to tell our stories, and for giving the Men of Etsy Team a well needed promotion. And thank you, most especially, to the men who shared their stories with me. I wish we had had room for all of them. Everyone is invited to subscribe to the Men of Etsy blog at http://TheMenOfEtsy.blogspot.com to find out about more wonderful men and their stories. Thanks.

  • ellesbeads

    ellesbeads said 9 years ago

    Great article!

  • RoughMagicCreations

    RoughMagicCreations said 9 years ago

    Hey Molly, up there! I'm Mollie too!!! :D and xoxo

  • ReidcraftShop

    ReidcraftShop said 9 years ago

    The story from Mr. Sikes sound familiar to mine. My Grandfather started a shop over 70 years ago in Mobile Al. Some of you may have heard of it, Reid Classics. He made everything from elaborate sideboards to tennis rackets. He finally settled on making handmade reproductions of Antique Poster beds. My father runs the business now. Every time I step into my dad shop it takes me back 15 years when I was running around making all kinds of little trinkets. I used to love sitting around listening to my Granddads old war stories. He was my hero. I'm just starting on Etsy, but I'm hard at work preparing a foundation to inherit the family busy and carry on the torch... :)

  • ForrestConcepts

    ForrestConcepts said 9 years ago

    Great article! Can't wait to meet you next weekend!

  • faeriebleu

    faeriebleu said 9 years ago

    Sweet picture of Karl and Molly of Cabbing Rough! Through being an avid fan of this family and everything they do...together. Great inspiration to us all. And Molly could you possibly be any more amazing and adorable working with Dad?!!

  • julessabjewelry

    julessabjewelry said 9 years ago

    Love the Men of Etsy... My husband is a wood turner so this is fabulous inspiration. I'll be sure to have him check this out. I'd love to get him selling here too!

  • carlossantiago

    carlossantiago said 9 years ago

    great! I have noticed a big increase of guys selling around here. i love it!!!

  • kittyd

    kittyd said 9 years ago

    Sweet stories! :)

  • Toacarving

    Toacarving said 9 years ago

    Thanks again mate for including me in this great piece.

  • thestellabluegallery

    thestellabluegallery said 9 years ago

    Wonderful article! Keep up the good work guys!

  • WoodysFlies

    WoodysFlies said 9 years ago

    Great inspirational works! As a fly tyer, I enjoy looking at other mens' arts or crafts.

  • aistheta

    aistheta said 9 years ago

    Great article. Loved reading the stories. Wonderful work featured. I especially love the masks.

  • mpwallets

    mpwallets said 8 years ago

    good article! TEAM MOE REPRESENT!

  • mpwallets

    mpwallets said 8 years ago

    good article! TEAM MOE REPRESENT!

  • KristyLynnJewelry

    KristyLynnJewelry said 8 years ago

    Great stories, congrats Dads! Keep up the great work!

  • melange4you

    melange4you said 8 years ago

    Looks great.......thank you...

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