There’s a guy who lives in my neighborhood who is known as Harley. Harley is an artisan who specializes in fabricating furniture using reclaimed materials. He has a workshop in his backyard, and a couple of times during the summer months he has a tag sale. Not only is Harley a super charming guy, he’s got a gift for creating one-of-a-kind creations that are sometimes fanciful and other times rustic in nature. Harley and his artistic offerings make me happy. Because he features his work in front of his studio intermittently, he doesn’t need a permit. It’s as if he is hosting a yard sale when he shows.
I know, for a fact, that there are many artisans who live in my neighborhood. I’ve visited a few of their studios. While the city is filled with yard sales throughout the summer, I especially enjoy coming across the occasional craftsperson or artisan who ventures out to the sidewalk. A simple display of talent and showmanship, such as the one that we see here, can add fresh vitality to a block. It also enables residents to become familiar with their neighbors and allows for a sense of pride. Not only does Harley add a set of ‘eyes’ on the street, his mere presence is a telltale sign as to what sort of neighborhood people are visiting. Harley tells me that his best customer is, surprisingly, between 26-28 years in age. “The young people in the neighborhood love my furniture,” he said. “It’s affordable, unique, reclaimed and handmade. Try finding that at the local [big box] store.”