inflatables

green exercise ball, mdf mold, woodshop

A shot from the woodworking classroom–my classmate was looking for a tight inner mold for his veneer and, after trying some inner tubes, tried this fitness ball, inflated with the air hose. I have no idea where the ball came from–did he just have one around?

bright pink inner tube with cellophane, plywood supportplaster donut

These are images of a similar use of inflatables from a collaborative art effort during grad school (The Happiness Detail). The inner tube was pretty effective, but it took all three of us to manage it at every step…huge and heavy.

one more try!

3-legged plywood chair

Here’s my third chair for the semester. A couple of classmates made three-legged chairs this term, with spoked legs (I’ll try those next semester!), and so I wanted to try the three-legged chair form, myself. I got the design from the book Ply Design by Phillip Schmidt, a great resource. By the end of this snowy day, I’ll have drilled a couple of more holes and put this flat-pack chair together!

‘Shop Class’ at home

Okay, chair #2 is finished and resting comfortably at home. The finish was a little more complicated than I’d planned, but turned out just about right. First, a coat of grey stain, which was too close a match for the fabric, so I sanded a lot of it off. Next, a coat of aqua stain, which was too fussy looking, so I sanded most of that off and covered it with a sparing coat of the grey, again. Final coat, wipe-on poly. Overall, it looks good, is a surprisingly comfortable seat and I learned a lot. I’m glad I chose to do two very different kinds of chair (this one, ‘Shop Class,’ and ‘La Piña’) and am already thinking about trying one of them again in the spring; I still have plenty to learn and plenty to express and the second try should go a lot quicker.

La Pina!

It’s done! Huzzah!

Imperfect, but beautiful–and it sits nice! I’ve learned a lot during the process of designing and building this and I’m already planning another special chair for next semester using what I’ve learned…

I’m pleased with the finish I devised for the ‘leaves’ of the chair: I made a very dilute yellowy-green solution of milk paint, sparingly applied one layer and then applied one layer of wipe-on poly, which darkened it slightly. The seat and legs are finished with Watco Danish finish, which I use a lot because you can still feel the wood after it’s applied. The seat back is cypress and the seat and legs are hickory.

‘La Piña’ and ‘Shop Class’

Hey all right, I’m almost done with my two required chairs for this semester in my craft woodworking course! I’m just a couple of hours away from sitting down!! (and, boy are my feet tired…) A little more sanding, some glue and a quick coat or two of finish and La Piña is good to go; a little more sanding and some screws in the seat and back (which will rest much higher on the frame) and Shop Class is done. I took it a little slower than I should have, but that said, there was (IS) a lot to learn about the process and there are always going to be some unexpected tasks so this was a fairly slow process. Next chair–much faster!

I designed La Piña myself and I took the design of Shop Class from Design Your Own Craftwork by K. Barkley and W.E. Brooke, a 1969 book on making your own furniture. Love it! The fabric is commercially printed (right, below) (Spoonflower is a wonderful resource!) from a monotype (left) I made several years ago. I think it’s a perfect upholstery fabric–curtains for the living room, too–and I am gratified to see my art in a form that will be used daily.

 

 

have a seat…

Actually, neither of these is quite done, but in the next two weeks, they should be ready for some action. The one on the left, “La Piña,” just needs some more sanding (I’ve been giving it some dimension by carving and sanding “leaves” on the back), some staining and some fastening down. The other chair is also nearly done; staining, some final sanding, leg leveling and then the padded seat and back, which I will cover with fabric commercially printed from an old monotype I did.

stuff i did today

These are the things I worked on today in my woodworking class: Yet another acorn! I finished it by drilling a 5/16ths hole in it, which really seemed like a beauty mark, or a dimple–it really amped up the appeal! Super cute! On the right is a self-portrait; I gave myself 30 minutes to create a piece with just glue (and a little sanding) and here is the result. Me! On the lower left are the main components of “La Piña,” my pineapple-inspired chair. Actually, aside from some sanding and waving stuff around, I did most of the work on the not-shown (and unlikely to be seen much when finished) supporting structure…that’s still on my bench. I was a little disappointed in my accomplishments today, but looking at this, I have to think, not bad.

welcome home!

'House' end grain cutting board

This cutting board was an assignment this summer term in my woodworking course at a local crafts school. (Our assignment was to make an ‘edge grain’ cutting board and, thinking about how cherry wood darkens with exposure to light, I devised this homey little design.)  I am closing down my other website in the next week and will be widening the focus of Hapless Press to include more of my woodworking and posts about my other interests; in the next several weeks, look for new pages about public art and cultural events. School will start up again in about a month and I will be posting about my ongoing efforts to learn furniture-making. Aloha, and have a good summer!

lots and lots!

These beautiful clamps present gorgeous repetition and variation in our woodshop. Their  design is economical and strictly utilitarian; they are beautiful and useful, as singular objects and in the numbers hanging off of racks in the shop.