Saturday, October 10, 2009

Activity in the Shop

The students finished making several wooden hand planes prior to our last update.  Now they are beginning to learn the art of making the hand planes "sing."  Below, Junior puts some finishing touches into a jointer plane.  Making hand tools really seems to be one of his labors of love.

Each of the students is working on their "Wabi-Sabi" cabinets.  Accordiing to Robert, "Wabi Sabi" means "beauty in imperfection."  The first step of this cabinet is creating a coopered door.  Below, Evan does the final shaping of his door.

 Here, Morrie and Byron both take a minute to hone their tools in order to achieve the perfect surface.

 Lacey stands guard over the wood room.  Ferocious, isn't she?

Steve has a consult with Robert regarding his next project.  One-on-one time with Robert is held in high regard at the school.  He provides each of his students with sound advice without lessening their creative voice.  
Here, Robert is providing Michal with guidance as well.  Whether you are a first year craftsman or a 3rd year Resident Craftsman, Robert's years of experience comes in very handy.  Here, Michael is working on the final touches of his knife hinges.  The students take pride in making every part of their cabinet, including the hardware.
Hong is checking the fit on his Wabi-Sabi Cabinet.  The cabinets are a new addition to the curriculum this year.  By the end of the process, each student will have completed all their exercises and will have a coopered door cabinet with drawer as proof.  Whether they choose to keep or burn this cabinet remains to be seen.
 Many students at Inside Passage find a part of the craft that they love and are naturally gifted at.  One of Barb's many gifts is marquetry.  Jason Klager, an alum and part-time instructor at the school gave Barb a few nudges in the right direction while she was in her Craftsman year at IP.  Barb has taken those nudges and created some gorgeous works of art with this new found skill.  She is currently working on a showcase cabinet in Sycamore and Boxwood.  Believe it or not, the work below is her "Practice."  Check out her new blog.
Daisuke finishes up a new drawer for the kitchen, determined to get it organized. He is waiting for the wood he milled for his next project to settle which will be a coffee table out of Curly Sycamore and Eastern Maple with his signature six legs.

Neil's Clock Taking Shape

Neil made big progress on his reproduction of JK's clock. He glued up the bent laminations for the stand in padauk, and rough cut the clock face out of a nice block of camphor, which looks great but has a really strong and unusual scent.

The clock stand is constructed using bent laminations, a glue up that requires some assistance. Here Barb stands by with clamps ready for Neil.

 The glue-up was a success, see evidence below.

Kite Making

Bruce has a very eclectic set of interests, and you never know what you'll find him making at his bench. This past week found him making a kite which he then tested out down at the beach in Roberts Creek (with Carrie providing assistance).

Steve's Presentation

Toward the end of his Craftsman year at Inside Passage, Steve began a hall table of Walnut and Curly Maple.  It was an ambitious project to take on with such little time in the program, but it was his fifth project that first year (most accomplish two projects).

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Steve set out to make this veneer construction table with eight curved front drawers, all having a unique angle where the front dovetails meet the sides.  This required a separate chopping block for each drawer and seemingly endless preparation.  The glue-ups alone were enough to frustrate even the most tenured of woodworkers.

The mirror he whipped up in only a few days toward the end of this past week.  He presented the piece Friday afternoon in the benchroom of the school.

We have started a new tradition here at Inside Passage.  When a resident craftsman/woman completes a project, the other resident craftsmen provide the food and beverages for their presentation.  Barb, Jason and Neil provided some good treats and the first year craftsman stood in awe as Steve gave them a peek into his abilities and work ethic.

As you can see, the results were worth the effort.  Steve has once again raised the bar for his peers here at the school and is already underway designing a showcase cabinet. (Updates to follow in future posts)  Enjoy!!!



Sunday, October 4, 2009

Big Mess in the Machine Room

Neil was busy re-sawing padauk in the machine room last week for his project. Padauk is beautiful but the dust goes everywhere. Cleanup that day was a real chore, but seeing the clock when he's done will make it all worthwhile.

First Presentation

Barb completed her first project, a beautiful box in lacewood and mendocino cypress, and presented it to the class this past week.

New Faces at the school

School has been back in session for a month now. We have setup this blog in the hopes that you will be able to keep up with our projects, the challenges we face in the coming year or even a friend or family member you know at the school.

We are craftsmen first, so please do not be critical of our journalistic shortcomings.

The first year students are off and running into their exercises. They have already made several wooden hand planes, honed their sharpening techniques, shaped their gumby legs and are coopering doors for their Wabi-Sabi cabinets.

Barb has already completed a box of lacewood as a warm-up exercise, presented it to the class this past week and has started working on a showcase cabinet. Steve has completed his "eighth" project and is working on a mirror to complement the walnut side board with eight drawers. Jason is continuing work on his elm laptop and Daisuke, who finished a chair this summer has begun work on a coffee table in curly sycamore. Neil is off to a productive start on his krenovian clock. He has re-sawn his laminates and is preparing to glue them together on a curved form.

Robert and Yvonne will be hosting a memorial honoring the life and work of James Krenov at the school. If you are interested, we encourage you to contact Yvonne for details. Robert is busy in the planning stages of his first project for this year. He is promising to hold himself to the same guidelines as the first year students- "small, simple, solid, and sweet." Details to follow in future posts.

Morrie from Halfmoon Bay, BC applying glue to some wood he brought from home to dry in the kiln.

Neil from Sechelt, BC working on a reproduction of a clock by James Krenov. Neil is back for a second year and had been a big help to the first year students.Barb from Roberts Creek, BC all dressed up:
Meredith from Vancouver, BC brings an artistic energy to the class and has shown great dedication and perseverance during the exercises. She keeps spirits high with her sense of humor.
Byron from Port Moody, BC seems to complete exercises before Robert even completes the lecture and is still looking to learn more as he explores our craft.
Michael from Edmonton, Alberta working on an edge joint for his coopered door. He is a very quiet and productive classmate.
Don from Golden, BC shared a great quote with some of the class, "Nature is the standard for truth and beauty." Very applicable to our wood room.
Ian from Calgary, Alberta is here with his wife and newborn daughter Rya. There is a lot of thought and a quest for perfection evident in the Ian's approach.
Evan from Bellingham Washington has moved with his wife and young son August. While August brings the class smiles and youth, Evan brings his tenacious search for perfection.
Hong from Vancouver, BC was here for the Artisan classes in the summer and is back for 9 more months.
Daisuke from Japan is here for a third year to set a fine example for the rest of us!
Bruce from Smithers BC has left his large family and farm to come and pursue his love of woodworking. On top of completing all of his exercises, he has naturally taken on the role of school spokesperson by greeting everyone as they enter the school and also being the resident handyman.
Steve from Placerville, California arrived with his best friend Lacey (his beautiful dog...) who has become loved by everyone in the school.
Michal from Victoria, BC and Byron discussing how to build their first Krenovian wooden hand planes.
Junior from Sydney, BC showing off a perfect shaving from one of his first hand planes he made at the school.
Jason from Asheville, North Carolina feeling pride for his well organized bench.
Steve from Ladysmith, BC meticulously chopping dovetails for his walnut sideboard.