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!
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.
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.
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.
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.