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.
In a coincidence, this week’s “On the Media” (radio program from WNYC) is all about public transit and how our lives/living environments are designed by/for car use (and presumed car use), just at the moment I’ve decided to present among my artfolios images from my MFA Thesis show, “Points of Interest,” an installation to promote the bus system in the city where I was attending university. Many of the issues discussed in the OTM segments are issues and ideas I thought about, researched and discussed with my Thesis committee. Although I did not address every one of these issues in my project, I did read, listen and watch a lot of materials about these things. This topic is vital to social and environmental justice and I’m gratified to hear this week’s program.
I am still digging up images, etc, for the POI artfolio page, so it’ll be complete in the next week or two.
These are a couple of calendars I made as examples for a class I’m scheduled to lead: quick intro to letterpress using a calendar format. The images are two-color lino block images printed on half a page, the other half left blank to staple a 12 month calendar to. Left, it’s about 9″ x 12″, right, 11″ x 17″. Then, fold the whole thing in half and slip it into a manilla envelope and mail it off!
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.
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.
This is my current work space, at least some of it. I do a lot of work at the kitchen table, the sketching, the carving, the laying out, etc, but the inking and printing I do on these mobile carts. The inking cart is a rolling delight I designed and built in my woodworking course and my little press is currently resting on a metal tool cart I got a few years ago and have since dedicated to printmaking. The shelving on the right is half storage and half art supplies; I often use the top shelves for drying prints. I can roll the carts into the kitchen when I start getting sloppy and when I’m done, I can roll them back into a corner of our small living room (which is actually devoted to storage and studio space). The setup is imperfect, but it works.
==>I really enjoy looking at other peoples’ workspace–I happened across the site Hyperallergic and their occasional entry “A View From the Easel.” It’s helpful to see how other people find ways to be be successful in seemingly less-than-ideal spaces.