Out in West Texas, there's more going on than just neon sunsets. A group of young girls is saving money for their college funds one three-legged stool at a time. Meet Lumber Club Marfa: an all-girls woodworking group that meets on Fridays after school. It was initially started by a dad to create a space for his daughter and her friends to learn how to create things with power tools and turned into so much more.
Artist Larry Bamburg has grown the Marfa, Texas club into something exceptional over the past six years. The club is pretty informal, but as things have grown, the group of girls has gotten training in all aspects of the creative process. They start with sourcing the wood, cutting/sanding/drilling, and even understanding invoicing/photography and shipping. They'll ship 'em out to all corners of the planet and have pride in the fact that they made that stool with their bare hands.
You know you're onto something when you get the attention of ArchDigest. Bamburg's wife, Jenny Moore, explained in the June issue of Architectural Digest that the club has helped build the girls' confidence. "Watching a little girl take on a sander is powerful. I've seen them push through their comfort zone, wipe away tears and sawdust, and get back at it."
The girls range in age from 7-14 and with supervision, essentially help run their own wood shop and work on the creation and distribution of the Lumber Club Marfa stools. Each is handmade, numbered, and labeled, but the fun doesn't stop there. Profits from each stool are donated to an education account for each member of the girls wood-working club. Bamburg and Moore have even set it to be me commensurate with a starting wage for a single adult in Presidio County. The three-legged stools are all available for purchase but have a three-month waiting list.
The Marfa Lumber Club really has found a special way to not only help create the next generation of female makers but allowing these kids to have a hand in saving up for their future education. The club creates their sculptural pieces with a range of woods, using wood donations from furniture makers around the country when possible.
Look out for a new batch of Lumber Club Marfa stools and help change the lives of L.C.M. members so that they can go to an awesome college down the road.