Not many posts means busy times. However, I squeezed in a few days down at the woodshop to turn out a bench for Arthur down at Haven, smack in the middle of Blood Alley. Quartersawn clear white oak with just a light oil finish. I appreciate the young guns supporting local designers. Look out for even more good things from Haven in the fall (just a hint, coming from the Land of One Thousand Autumns – enough said).
First Zodiac session of the season, and it was a classic mix of hard rain, choppy waters in the Howe Sound, an epic island visit…inspiring as always.
Secret narrow track railroad. Look carefully at the overall scale.
Cedar log, seaweed and a ladybug, sorry but that’s just ‘cho kawaii!’
Most of you guys reading this are friends or friends of friends…maybe a few wandered in from the Sandinista website, all good. As you probably know, I’m moving my practice more in the direction of product design, with an emphasis right now on developing ideas for furniture and wood products. I recently found myself in a pretty cool loop of wood and furniture making lore and history…it starts with an icon in the world of wood craftsmanship, James Krenov. I discovered his books and started researching and found out that he was the inspiration behind the Inner Passage School of Woodworking. Here is an example of student work at the recent exhibition at Kozai in Vancouver:
Beautiful stuff! I also went to the Hand Made Instrument Show in Portland, OR and met Myles, the owner of Gilmer Wood. He was selling tonewoods to the luthiers and he invited me to his shop to buy some choice lumber and he wanted to show me his James Krenov hand planes. I later find out that he supplies alot of wood to the students at Inner Passage. Here is one of THREE warehouses full of the rarest exotic hardwoods in North America.
It was my first instrument show, and I felt it was like a combination of Record Fair and Trade Show, the work was pretty darned impressive, that is if you enjoy geeking out on this stuff:
Beautiful pair of archtop guitars:
Rows and rows of precision woodcraft:
Very custom bridge setup.
I think it’s safe to say, if you know where to look, craft is alive and well in America and Canada.
Please support it!
Over the past couple of years I’ve been doing some fairly low-key art projects for Nike Sportswear. The most recent project I just finished is for the Nike Sportswear lounge which is happening in Vancouver for the 2010 Olympic Games here. Nike is sponsoring a series of 3 club events with local record label Nordic Trax over the duration of the Olympics. The final night is next Wednesday so you can check out the install at Ginger62.
The project description is an artist’s interpretation of the new N98 icon jacket. I decided to build something which would resonate with the N98 stream-lined design and attention to detail and craftsmanship. It became a light inspired by the West Coast First Nations’ totem poles. The result is an 8 foot tall “totem pole” – roughly 11″ diameter constructed from local, clear Western Red cedar, cast acrylic tube, and of course the graphics printed on film and the light ballast. Many thanks go to Kelly at Turnco for helping me construct and turn down the pole, and to Age and Brian at Proper Design for doing the film.
It takes a big machine to handle this size lumber…making alot of woodchips:
It was very difficult to take decent photos since the totem is so tall and thin, and it is also a light source! This is the best I could come up with under crappy halogens and fluoros:
A detail of the top cap of the totem pole, the light ballast is built into this structure. The whole thing goes together and comes apart without any fasteners for easy transport and so the image itself can easily be changed. In this photo one can really see the beautiful grain and colour of the clear cedar…the only thing missing is the wonderful and theraputic aroma of freshly cut cedar.
Another detail shot which for me conveys the “feeling” I get when I admire the real West Coast Native art. I consider myself lucky to live so close to source!
My only overall shot taken just after testing the whole thing – it’s nearly impossible to get a decent overall shot of this using a fixed 50mm lens on a digital SLR…but hopefully you get the idea.
So I finally finished the epic production of hand cut furniture for the VIP room at Fortune Sound Club in Vancouver. Officially it is the Livestock room, and the interior was designed by Kenta Goto. It took alot longer than I had planned for, mostly because I was doing a solo, full production run of 16 chairs and 3 tables. For the final install, the room looks much better with fewer chairs and only 2 of the tables – we needed to make room for the rowdy kids. It took us a couple of days to move all the components from the workshop to the club, and to assemble all the pieces into furniture. In the end, it all worked out: chilled beverages make the install go alot smoother:
Repetition is so gratifying:
Final poseur shot of the chair in the middle of the floor, we would have loved to do a Maxell type shot with the Funktion One system set to “eleven.”