Thursday, September 19, 2013

Show & Tell Part 2

Home Free.  Not quite.  Tobyn McCormick is working on a "form" for the back of a chair.  In other words, he glued up multiple pieces of poplar, measured and then cut away material, and in this picture, he's sanding the work so that he can vacuum press wood that conforms to his body.  And, yes, he will also be done with his project by winter break.

Jake Hockel is working on a desk that has a tambour door and Jeff Noblett is working on a chair.  To help him figure out how and if the door is going to slide correctly, Jake had to cut about a thousand (my estimate according to what I saw on his bench) sticks, tape them up perfectly to fit the runner, and slide them back and forth over a period of weeks before he decided on the final layout of the door.  For Jeff, one of his biggest concerns regarding his chair was how to find the right wood that would allow the grain to flow along the contours of the side of the chair down to the leg.  He also had to make a mock up that was very close to the real thing in order to guarantee that the leg was strong enough to hold up to the usual wear and tear that happens to a chair over its lifetime. 

Listening to these students talk about their projects, why they chose it, the difficulties encountered, what they hope to learn, how they're stretching themselves, etc. is so inspiring.  It amazes me that a person can actually do what these guys want to do.  And the process they go through to get there requires so much thought and patience that I can't imagine being in their shoes.

But I am in a shoes.  All of us, no matter what level we're at, are learning how to walk through this world of wood and fine craftsmanship.  And the best part about all of it are the discoveries we find along the way in both the work we do and in our own personal experiences.

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