Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Walk Arounds

Walk-arounds are a great way for us to keep up with all the projects underway in the class. Every student shares their challenges and triumphs of each week which allows us to learn a great deal from each other.

Jason explains the challenges of curves in the complex construction of his lap desk. The interior assembly is now glued together and will be doweled between the top and bottom.

Daisuke shows off the beautifully planed surface on the top of his sycamore table.

Hong shows us the source of inspiration for the traditional Korean piece he has started.

After doing several mock-ups, Junior decides on a leg shape he is happy with for his table.

Evan tells us how the natural details in a piece of local Arbutus, along with a bunch of bright Arbutus berries, has inspired him to use the colours as an element in the door of his cabinet.

After planing almost every plank in the wood room, Ian chose the Red Elm. A gorgeous wood, but a defect was uncovered that caused him to rethink his project.

Don is using Chinese Elm which has a contrasting edge of sapwood he intends to incorporate into the design of his cabinet.

Bruce's coffee table out of Sapele will have a base joined by dovetails. He is also using the wood's naturally contrasting sapwood as a feature.

Neil tells us of the challenges he faces in the truly unique joinery between the legs and the base of his clock.

Steve N is much farther along than this picture represents. He is showing us the lumber-core construction of his piece that is proving to be a more desirable method for veneering.

Barb shows the twin floating mortise and tenon joint for the framed side panels of her cabinet.

Byron is using Yellow Cedar for his box with a double-curved lid, he actually has two underway.

Meredith shows us the exciting grain graphics that will wrap around her french walnut cabinet.

Steve W is using the "Mystery Wood" for the panels of his jewelry cabinet.

Michal O is also using Sapele for his music stand and explains the well thought out dimensions of the piece.

Michael A shows the mock-up for his cabinet that will feature two "floating" panels in the door.

We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to see the first piece Gary made at College of the Redwoods. A sweet little chest made of Koa for his daughter, it was great to hear the story of the piece and Gary's experience as one of JK's students.

First Projects

First projects are underway now, and the shop is full of mockups and wooden parts...

Robert keeps a watchful eye over the class as wood is being broken out for first projects. Wood selection clearly being one of Robert's favorite processes, we saw him come back to life this week after a long month of feeling under the weather.

The mock-ups:






Meredith mistakes Hong's mock-up for a dancing cage.

The wood:



Ian listens closely in hopes that the wood will speak to him.

Wabi-Sabi Cabinets

Robert made some changes to the curriculum this year including the Wabi-sabi cabinet exercise. Meaning 'beauty in imperfection', this exercise gives the students a chance to apply fundamental skills gained throughout the first semester of classes.

Starting with the process of carefully choosing grain graphics, the students learn how to mill their poplar planks into cabinet parts. Once they cooper and shape the concave door with the coopering planes made earlier in the year, the carcass of the cabinet is doweled together.
Often times a unique cabinet design will call for custom hinges, the students are taught to make all their own hardware to save the cost and headache of having them made.
Shelves and drawer pockets are planned out with 'let go', surfaces are hand planed and shellac finish is applied before the sides, top and bottom are glued together.
The students learn how to fit and install the door, make and fit dovetailed drawers and frame and panel back panels. Finally they experiment with carving pulls for the drawer and door and do a little more work with brass to make the wall-hangers.

Here they are showing the finished product with pride.









The only picture we could get of our camera-shy Michal O and his cabinet.