Projects in Progress
Now in their final week, the Twelve-week Intensive students are eager to make as much progress as possible on their curvature projects. After extensive demonstrations on steam bending, lamination bending, and veneering, a final wave of energy has taken over the shop as the students incorporate these complex building techniques into their work. The positive attitude and tireless work ethic of this group of students permeated throughout campus over the last three months. We will miss them, but we're also excited to see where they go from here!
Although it's Christmas vacation week, a few students from both the Nine-month Comprehensive and the Twelve-week Intensive are in the shop, working hard to finish their casepiece projects over the holiday. The only requirement for the project is to include at least one door and one drawer, essential skills for a furniture maker. This project allows students to push their design skills, and start to develop their personal aesthetics. Simultaneously, it tests their understanding of construction and their discipline in technical execution.
During the first three weeks of the Nine-month Comprehensive, students hone their skills with hand tools like chisels, planes, and marking gauges. After a bit of practice, they design and build a bench with dovetails and mortise and tenon joinery. From such a simple brief, the current Nine-month students have created a remarkably diverse array of work, providing us a small sample of the creativity to come this year.
Photos by Mark Juliana
For many furniture makers, a chair is the perfect vehicle for exploring the relationship between form and function. A chair requires ergonomic comfort and must be engineered to bear weight and movement. It necessitates a deep knowledge of joinery and the limits of wood as a medium. It has a rich and expansive design history, and is thus open to infinite manifestations of style and character. This dichotomy between what a chair needs to do and what it could be makes it the most challenging piece of furniture to create. It is also the most fun.
A very unique course is in session over in the workshop building. Mastering Veneered Boxes is a two-week workshop focused on exploring intricate pattern on simple form, taught by Adrian Ferrazzutti and Aaron Fedarko. Students have been carefully composing studies in geometry, repetition, and color with stripes of shop-sawn veneer. Before cutting into the real thing, however, they popped over to the office to photocopy the actual wood itself, in order to experiment with patterns on paper instead of using up precious material. Now they are moving on to the challenging techniques of cutting and joining veneer; luckily, though, they have two true experts on hand to guide them.
The end of the summer Twelve-week Furniture Intensive is always a little bittersweet. The sun sets a little earlier, nights are a little cooler, and we have to say goodbye to an incredibly hard-working and creative group of students. It's so exciting, though, to see what those students have created in their time here at school, and to hear what they have planned for the future. Some will return to their pre-woodworking lives, but with a new-found passion and deep knowledge of their hobby; others will take the plunge and open their own shops, making furniture full-time; and some will continue their education in woodworking in a number of ways, including our Nine-month Comprehensive.
More Articles ...
- Progress in the Twelve Week
- Projects in Progress: curves from the nine-month comprehensive
- Projects in Progress: curves from the twelve-week intensive
- Projects in Progress: veneer
- Projects in Progress: case piece, continued
- Projects in Progress: designing the case piece
- Projects In Progress: the case piece
- Projects In Progress: finished tool cabinets
- Projects In Progress: the tool cabinet
- Projects In Progress: tails, then pins