Welcome to another exciting edition of TotalBoat's Customer Spotlight! in these articles we shine a spotlight on talented artisans and craftsman who harness the power of TotalBoat products to bring their creative visions to life.
This month, we are stepping into the world of masterful craftsmanship and woodworking artistry as we proudly shine a spotlight on one of our esteemed ambassadors, Jason Hibbs of Bourbon Moth Woodworking. He’s not only known for his exceptional talent, unwavering passion for the craft, and a commitment to pushing the boundaries of woodworking innovation- but also his compassion for teaching others. You’ve probably seen him most recently on our social channels with our ‘Tips With Hibbs;’ a series of Thixo information and tips.
Jason comically and notoriously hates epoxy, especially river tables (watch him blow this one up here)! But aside from that destruction, his lighthearted and comical approach to creating functional, innovative concoctions earned him a spot on his local news when he constructed a lawn mower turned army tank that his son helped him come up with. Jason also recently had a show release on the Magnolia Network called Hibbs Shows You How that highlights his creative and unusual projects.
To add to his repertoire of skills, he has built two boats (with a third one in progress) over the last few years, one of them in partnership with fellow TotalBoat ambassador Michael Alm. His boat Verna Louise is rumored to be one of his favorite projects.
Residing in the great state of Oregon with his wife Cara and son Iver, Jason's journey into the world of woodworking began in 2014 when he founded Bourbon Moth Woodworking. Initially creating high-end custom furniture for discerning clients, Jason's passion for the craft soon led him to share his expertise through engaging how-to videos.
Above images: Justin Mabie
In this fascinating evolution over the last few years, Jason has seamlessly transitioned from a focus on client work to becoming a full-time woodworking content creator, where he captivates audiences with his fusion of humor and skill, and desire for helping others who are interested in woodworking.
His passion to help others goes beyond just woodworking though, as he once gave a class at Workbench (don’t miss out on this event) that was really helpful to those just starting out making content. He emphasized that you can create great content on your phone and you don’t need a bunch of fancy equipment to get started. In the words of one of our employees and friend of his- ‘he’s honestly such a good dude.'
What initially inspired you to start creating and making things?
Bourbon Moth actually started as a counterpart to our other business, a screen printing and textile company called "Oh, Little Rabbit". I wanted to create a line of home decor making smaller items out of wood and that naturally progressed into making larger and larger pieces until I made my way into the furniture world.
How would you describe your creative process? Do you have any rituals or routines that you follow?
Well, I’m definitely a person that likes to wing it most of the the time. Sometimes I don’t even know how to build something until I actually start it. There are times where I do need to sit down and actually sketch something up, but I always have a million ideas floating around in my head and sometimes I just need to start building, then figure it out as I go. So no, no routines here.
Can you share a specific project or creation that you're particularly proud of? Please provide details about the concept, materials used, and the story behind it.
About a year and a half ago, I took on a project building a Mckenzie river drift boat. Having never built a boat before, I had no clue how it would turn out or how difficult it would be. It ended up taking me about 3 months to complete, but I’m pretty darn proud of how it turned out. I used a ton of TotalBoat products in that build: epoxy, Lust Marine Spar Varnish, Thixo, Wet Edge paint, teak oil… you name it, its probably on it.
Do you have a favorite tool or technique that you frequently use in your projects? Why do you enjoy working with it?
It’s no secret that I absolutely hate sanding. It has to be the most boring thing that takes place in the shop in my opinion. Conveniently, a year and a half ago I hired my employee Craig… not to call him a tool, but I definitely use him for all my sanding needs now. So I guess you can say it's Craig.
Above: Craig, Jason's favorite tool.
Have you ever collaborated with other makers or artists? If so, can you share a memorable collaboration experience and the outcome?
I love collaborating with other woodworkers! Some of the makers I have done projects with are Michael Alm, Keith Johnson, Jonathan Katz-Moses, Eric Curtis. I loved building my second boat with Michael Alm. We built a small cocktail racer in 5 days. The best part about that build was we couldn’t find the correct size motor in 5 days so we had to settle for a super low powered one, which turned this “racer” into more of a “cruiser”. But hey, it looked fast at least. Again, Total Boat was slathered all over that one.
Can you share some advice or words of wisdom for aspiring makers/woodworkers who are just starting their journeys?
Just start building. Make mistakes along the way. Learn from those mistakes and make more mistakes. It's part of the process, and eventually you’ll look back and see how far you have come along in your craft.
Above image: Enjoying Verna Louise with son Iver, by Justin Mabie
Above: A 'small' play area he built for his son.