Monday, June 21, 2010

Cruisin' on the River

Chestertown was lucky enough to be one of the ports on the American Cruise Line's Spirit tour.
Friendly people from all over the US boarded the ship in Philadelphia and arrived in Chestertown last evening.
This morning they set out to explore the town --- Robert Ortiz Studio was early on the tour.

We enjoyed showing them around the shop and giving them a look at what we do.   Steve Croker showed the steps he takes to create carved ginko leaves used as accents on many of Robert's designs.  He explained the different woods and how they compliment the furniture.  He also showed how he uses real leaves as his guide in order to achieve the most authentic detail possible.

Everyone was interested to hear Bob tell about the process he goes through to create such beautiful furniture.   He starts by chosing boards from the saw mill that have been cut and dried properly.  He uses a jig - essentially a pattern - to cut the pieces.   People want to know how long it takes to make a piece of furniture - how many man-hours - but all of Bob's experience, design time, trial and errors go into the making of each piece.   So the answer is - 'it takes a life time' to make.  View many more photos of tables, chairs & cabinets at

Our current project is an entry table with mahogany base and walnut top.  The base is still under construction, you can see one leg before the final cut has been made and the other leg shows how it will look when finished.   Take note of the 'ribbon' wood grain.  The top has two coats of linseed oil finish so far -I applied the second coat today -- it will eventually have five.
Here's a display of Baltimore Painted Screens.  This old folk art has been gracing the windows and doors of Highlandtown  since the 1920's.  Newcomers are always surprised to find that you cant see in from the street - but those inside can see right through.  

We enjoyed the cruisers - and look forward to future visits.


  1. How cool is this...I love to do studio tours when I am on a trip!!! It looks beautiful!

  2. Love your blog Brenda - signed up!! Great giveaway incentive! Your photos and posts are super. Thanks for sharing.

  3. My dear friend, I am so proud of you with all you are doing. I enjoyed very much reading your blog. I can see you are having lots of fun with what you do, especially making new friends. That is the Brenda I remember for our "1970's" years.
    Congratulations my dear friend and continue your fun and success in all what you do!!! Zulay --in Orlando, Florida.

  4. Very impressed...great pics Brenda. Please enter me in your drawing for the birdie night light, just love him! Miss you and looking forward to Va Beach November 2011.
    Take care dale, L.I., New York