It has been a very busy fall at the school. Our second year students are nearing the completion of their chairs and first years students have begun the Upward Spiral exercise.
The Resident Craftsman students have been carefully fitting the live compound angle tenons of their back splats to the crest rail and lumbar rails while dialing in the fit between the crest rail and legs at the same time. This coming week they will move onto fitting and shaping the arms, which evolves fitting an angled, mortise and tenon on the curve of the back leg. Then onto finish and wrapping the seat.
Our Craftsman program students have completed their fundamental exercises and have moved onto the Upward Spiral exercise, the reproduction of the Andaman Padauk box that JK made in 1969. While the wood and the fittings will differ from the original, all other details no matter how insignificant will remain unchanged. All materials for this exercise are provided including the wood, hinges and lock.
Each of woods they will be using, have their own properties, and I mean this in the most unscientific way.
The way a plane feels on one wood is an entirely new experience on another. How the wood feels when being pared cross grain with a fine chisel? Is the wood abrasive requiring even more frequent sharpening’s? How does the end grain respond to a shearing tool? Are my cutting angles to steep, or too shallow? They will need to pay attention while they work. They will need to use their experiences thus far to make the process enjoyable require less effort. This exercise will build upon the upward spiral that Jim spoke of. The revisiting of past experiences; and will be presented with new work like carving pulls and the installation of butt hinges and locks. Knowing when they will need to slow down, and pay even closer attention. What tools and even what processes presented and modifications made contributed to their ability to do fine work? These are just some of the questions they will begin to answer in the coming weeks.
Our annual semester party will take place at the Gumboot Café, just across the courtyard from the school on December 10, 2012. Semester break begins the end of the following week. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our students and alumni for their ongoing support of the school. And remind you that this school not only exists for you, but because of you. From all of us at the school we would like to wish you health happiness and peace over the holiday season and in the coming year.
Be well and enjoy your work, I know I am.