Creativity is what drives Kevin Chen. Even back in middle school shop class he was excited by the creative problem-solving needed to understand spatial volumes and their relationships to one another. When Kevin designs something, he isn’t limited to the object itself, but rather, how that object affects its environment at large.
The fall Twelve-week Intensive is underway and the students are already getting their chisels sharp and their hands dirty. I myself took the fall Intensive two years ago, and let me tell you, it is aptly named. Students will execute a case piece with doors and drawers as well as a curved project utilizing the complex techniques of steam bending, tapered laminations, and veneer patterns. But before all that, a solid foundation is built through the arduous process of hand-cut joinery.
Having acquired new skills with hand tools and machines, the Nine-month Comprehensive students have moved to their next project: to create a solid-wood case piece with drawers and doors. Currently they are going through an in-depth design process involving drawings, models, and full-scale mock-ups, as well as pertinent lectures on the necessary mechanics and strategies. Check back soon to see their progress.
I love my tools. As an assistant I lent a student my beloved Starrett four-inch square so he could accurately check his dovetails. Throughout the afternoon, I caught myself staring across the room, as if I expected him to toss my square on the floor when he was finished. The Nine-month Comprehensive students will no doubt develop this same attachment, and what better way to cherish their tools than give them a beautiful home in a custom tool cabinet? This second project in the Nine-month Comprehensive is designed to give students familiarity with machine joinery and shaping skills for casework.