ROCKFORD - A block of wood becomes a custom pen under the gentle guidance of Jonathan Blair.
"It just gives me an opportunity to be creative. I like that side of it. Kind of make something out of nothing," he said.
He makes mostly pens and pencils in the basement of his house in Rockford. He creates other small items, too.
"Seam rippers, bottle openers, shaving kits," Blair said.
His dad passed along his love of woodworking and it became Jonathan's hobby.
"A lot of times I don't start with a specific goal in mind, I just kind of let it go where it goes," he explained.
He can produce a pen in about 45 minutes.
"It's kind of an instant gratification kind of thing. It doesn't take a long time to get the project finished and see the end result. It feels pretty good to finish something up. Everybody likes to do that and it's no different with the stuff that I do," he said.
He makes beautiful pens but he also has another woodworking talent - repairing musical instruments.
It's not always easy.
"There's a lot of let's call it custom work that people do to their instruments and sometimes those are a challenge to repair," he said.
Repairing an instrument is a labor of love because Blair is a musician.
"I can't explain the feeling to finish up an instrument and then be able to play it. That's pretty cool to be able to take something apart like that, that most people would be intimidated by, and be able to make it work again. Something that's 50 or 60 years old or older and make it have a new life," he said.
His lifelong hobby is transitioning into a burgeoning business. He just want to his first expo show and he sells his woodcrafts on the web. The name of his business merges his two loves -- woodworking and music -- Woodsong Creations.
"I don't know where it's going to go. I don't what to expect because I've never ran a business. I just don't know," he said.
He knows he enjoys what he does, making wood into pens, making music from once broken instruments.
(© 2016 WBIR)