The Brilliant Chair is so named because I think the design is so perfectly functional. It is such a simple idea to put these triangles together to make the legs and at the same time creating space for the seat and back. The triangles are inherently stable, the joinery is dirt simple, and the result is pleasing. Based on a design by Aldo Leopold this chair is a classic.
On April 5-6 we will have a workshop on building this chair. In conjunction with the TinyHouseblog.com and Reclaimedwoodblog.com. We will explore chair design, ergonomics, and engineering a stable chair. Also included in the two day class tuition are these added values:
Salvage Works of North Portland will also give a short demonstration on how to pick the correct materials using reclaimed lumber.
EB Tools is supplying two two of their new KwickGripper nail pulling tools for a drawing. They will also offer 20% off coupons for those who do not win the tool to purchase one from their website.
CeCe of CeCe Caldwell Paints has agreed to come in and talk about her great paints with the class. She is also providing every student with a free quart of paint of the color of their choice.
Plans for The Brilliant Chair come as part of the class from The Northwest Woodworking Studio.
Finally as a bonus you will receive a six month subscription to the Tiny House Magazine in PDF format.
This is a great opportunity to build a brilliant design, learn about basic woodworking techniques, and walk away with a classic chair. Please join us.
The value of a classical education is in laying a foundation for your work to follow. One learns joinery to learn accuracy plus patience. There are a dozen or more ways to build a box but each situation requires an evaluation and then a decision. Your decision on joinery will depend upon several factors: knowledge or skill, tooling options, economy or speed, and enjoyment.
If you take the time to build your skills in a variety of approaches, then you can choose a joint for example that fits all the requirements of the situation. A nailed butt joint might be perfect when you’re in a hurry or the piece is not precious. It might be completely inappropriate for a shrine to your sainted mother. On the other hand, if you’re building mom a present and the birthday approaches then hand cutting dovetails might take longer than you have. Splined miter joints are just as pretty but faster. Both work for the job.
This week we are studying joinery skills with our students. With these methods in hand, you’ll be able to take them to apply in a variety of jobs. Like Bruce, one of my first Mentoring students, did in his box here. Come to the Studio to learn methods for work.
Upcoming joinery classes with Gary Rogowski:
March 12th, 6pm – 8pm: TABLE SAW JOINERY
May 12th – 16th, 9am-4pm daily: DOVETAILS, STEAMBENDING, AND JOINERY
May 19th – 23rd, 9am-4pm daily: WEDGED TENONS, HOUSED JOINERY, INLAY
Our esteemed Studio Director, Gary Rogowski hosts a series of videos over at Fine Woodworking. He gets us woodworkers up to speed on hand tool maintenance. Stay tuned for episodes of The Sharpening Doctor.
Sharpening Doctor: Introduction – Fine Woodworking Video.
Posted in Gary Rogowski, Hand Tools, Sharpening Doctor
Tagged chisels, cutting tools, fine woodworking, hand tool sharpening, hand tools, northwest woodworking studio, planes, spokeshaves, woodworking
What causes us to look round the next bend? What makes people want to fly or cross the ocean or play with fire? Why do you do something and then do it again just to see if the results will be the same? Why ask why?
All these questions are asked because of a simple if not altogether human trait. This urge pushes us to try things to see what will happen. Like a bird tucking at a string to see if it will release or the worm. Like a dog putting his head down between the rocks to sniff out a scent. What is there? What was there? What might be there?
Is it that we cannot feel safe unless we know what’s behind the door/ under the bed/ at the back of the cave? Or is that we have to know just to know, just to have that knowledge at our disposal. Is it learning or a pernicious bad habit? This urge pushes us down dangerous paths no doubt but also down paths of discovery. It is, at its simplest, the impetus for learning. To discover, to uncover, to unravel, to get to the bottom of things. Curiosity. Simple curiosity. Who’s there? What’s that? Why does it work like that?
Join us Wednesday February 19th from 6pm to 7:30pm for a lively round table discussion on Curiosity. Sharing the podium will be Bill Crane, musician, composer, concert pianist and long time accompanist to classical musicians around town; David Minick, music and sports photographer now pursuing an interest in archaeology, and Gary Rogowski, woodworker, author, playwright, and Director of The Northwest Woodworking Studio. This event is free and open to the public.
Posted in DESIGN: Open House, free event, Q&A
Tagged craft, creativity, curiosity, design, free event, northwest, open house, pdx, Portland, roundtable discussion, studio, woodworking
This gallery contains 3 photos.
This event is free and open to the public. Speakers Include: Presenters at DESIGN:Open House on Curiosity are Gary Rogowski, Bill Crane and David Minick DESIGN: Open House on Curiosity Please join us at The Studio on February 19th, 2014 from 6:00pm – 7:30pm for another … Continue reading
Tagged architecture, art, bill crane, creativity, david minick, Gary Rogowski, music, pdx, photography, Portland, woodworking
Life is hard enough. Now you’re gonna read some idiot telling you that failure is a success when it comes to design? That if you’re not throwing out your design work, you’re not working hard enough at it. Criminy, is nothing easy?
The short answer is no. The long answer is hell no. Design takes work and practice and reverent theft and more practice and staying positive when you dead-end and it’s repetitive and tiring but it’s never been boring for me. It is hard work some days. Some days I know the designs coming out of my pencil will be dreck for a good half hour before something starts to warm up inside my little brain. And then, and only then, after the penance or warm-ups or whatever it feels like, slowly ideas start to form and they’re not bad. They’re not half bad. They’re not awful. They are almost good. They have potential for mediocrity or maybe even more than that, they’re not boring. They are starting to take some form that works. But it is a process and along the way are many discarded ideas.
Join us this Wednesday at the Studio from 6 to 8pm for A Strategy for Design. This lecture will present you with ideas for designing furniture. I will talk about my approach and what works for me to get my brain to engage in this so very different activity. I will also discuss the important items I need to be aware of as I design. My work as a furniture designer is to be a sculptor of functional work. I will share with you what I have learned about how to make this happen.
Join us this Friday 2/7 (10-6) and Saturday 2/8 (10-6) for the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event at the Studio, 1002 SE 8th Ave. You’ll see all of their tools on display and you can try them out yourself.
Also visiting will be Kevin Drake of Glen Drake Tools and Dave Jeske of Blue Spruce Tools. It is sure to be a great event where you can see and try out great affordable tools.
Power tools throughout the ages
When the electrical power failed at my old shop, I could keep working with my hand tools. Nothing felt better than knowing that I could still be productive while the power tool shops nearby me had shut down. This is knowing that you have the power in your own hands.
What a difference you will feel in your woodworking when you come to understand the power of hand tools. Let’s face it, machines are fast, noisy, and accurate. But they can also be very annoying. You get up the speed to tackle a project and then the jointer isn’t accurate or the table saw crosscut sled is out of square. Always something on a machine that needs tuning. And it feels like you’ve been robbed or cheated of your time. Shouldn’t they just work? But they don’t.
You still need to tune your hand tools. But the work on them is perhaps more expected, more a part of the game. You go in, you tune up your hand tools, and then you get to work. It’s quiet, it’s satisfying, and the accuracy can be unparalleled.
How do people engage with your furniture? They look at the form first of course. If they like the shape of a piece, then they approach it. They eye it to see the wood and the sheen of it. The very next thing they do is touch the piece. Everyone loves to put their hands on wood because it’s warm, it’s inviting. And if there’s a finish on the wood, then what folks will be touching is that finish. You have to pay attention first to how that finish looks and next how it feels in order to win over a client, a buyer, or an admirer.
The problem is that finishing is part chemistry and part alchemy. It is neither simple nor intuitive. Most furniture makers, when they finally complete their piece that was supposed to take a weekend but instead took three months, all they want to do is put a finish on it and walk away from it. But what they usually do is put on the wrong finish in the wrong way and don’t like how it looks or feels. So what they do next, instead of backing up, instead of admitting they goofed, they press on! Brave stalwarts, they put something else over the first bad stain or topcoat and now they have a bastard child by two discordant parents/ finishes. Do they admit defeat now? Start over? Never. They continue the charge and apply another finish over the first two until such time as they finally can say, Enough. It is enough and the finish sucks so I’m done with it.
Join us Wednesday Feb. 29 from 5 to 8pm for a lecture entitled 3 Simple Finishes. Let us help you demystify all the information swirling about on finishes. You’ll hear about simple techniques to protect your work and to make it beautiful. These are hand applied finishes that provide luster from low to high sheen, good protection, and that are easy to repair as well as beautiful. There is a ton of information to share with you so come and learn how to put on a great finish for your masterpiece.