David C. Conley Woodworker-Folk Artist
Each birdhouse that I build in my woodworking shop in Strafford, New Hampshire, is a miniature interpretation of some of my favorite rural New England architecture.
All of my houses are made from locally harvested eastern white pine. The doors and windows are made from antique lath strips that I’ve garnered from old houses during renovation. The roofs and strap hinges are fabricated from tin salvaged from old barns. The decorative pressed tin comes from the ceilings and walls of antique houses. All of my birdhouses are painted with two coats of exterior paint to last many years. The bottoms are easily removed for yearly cleaning.
From the time I was a young boy growing up in Massachusetts I’ve been interested in working with wood and always knew it would be my life’s vocation. My first real job as a carpenter’s helper came the summer I turned 15. That was when I began to fill my toolbox with all the saws, chisels, planes and other tools that I needed to get the job done. As I got older, I gained a lot of experience working for other outfits as a carpenter. Eventually, I started my own business and for the next 30 years I built new homes and restored old ones. Then I felt it was time for a change. The last eight years or so I’ve been in my workshop devoting my time to making primitive birdhouses, country furniture and garden items.