Orien MacDonald, a.k.a. Old School Tools, grew up in Alaska and Southern New Mexico, where his parents were part of the Back-to-the-Land movement. His dad taught workshops in building handmade houses out of adobe clay and had a vast woodshop where Orien whittled his first woodworking project at the age of five.
It didn’t take Orien long to recognize his passion for handicrafts. Never interested in formal schooling, Orien took it upon himself to learn everything he could about woodworking, luthiery, blacksmithing and leather crafting. It took him ten years to hone his craft, but he persisted in raising the level of workmanship with each new challenge.
Of special interest to Orien are tools and techniques from the 19th century. After years of building guitars and lutes, then moving on to hunting bows and arrows, Orien’s latest fascination is blacksmithing with a forge from the 1800s. He uses a minimal amount of power tools and prides himself on using recycled and reclaimed materials.
Orien and his wife, Carrie, built their adobe clay house on the property Orien grew up on, and his homesteading parents still live in Glia, New Mexico. They grow their own vegetables, hunt rabbits for meat and try to live as simply as possible. Selling his wares online allows Orien and Carrie the time to enjoy life in the countryside. They relish hikes in the high desert, swimming in the nearby natural springs and visiting Native American ruins on the mesa near their home. Living simply doesn’t sound so bad after all, does it?
Enter our Old School Tools sweepstakes! Comment below to enter to win a handmade chef’s knife. At 11:59:59 p.m. ET Tuesday, August 10, 2010 we will pick at random one commenter. (We apologize in advance that this sweepstakes is only open to U.S. folks over 18. Void where prohibited. Download a PDF of the full Rules and Regulations.)
Tweet this video URL or embed it on your blog!
If you don’t know how to embed a video on your blog — no worries, it’s simple. Here’s how:
- Click the symbol that looks like this on the video player at the top of this post.
- Copy the embed code from the “embed” tab.
- Paste the embed code into the HTML of your own blog post.