August 14, 2006

This week we had a visit from Brian Boggs, an internationally acclaimed chair maker from Kentucky. Each of the students went home with a completed chair with woven bark seat, and the skills to make many more. Brian gave a slide presentation on Wednesday evening which highlighted his work as well as a project has undertaken in third world countries. Brian even managed to a fishing trip at the end of his stay.

The end of the day, the floor is filled with shavings. The shaving horses were of Brian's design and made locally by Mark Safioles, a local woodworker and friend of the school.

Ian bends a back leg just out of the steam box. Ian is one of our Resident Craftsman and Teachers here at the school and although I was away for the week I have been told that if it had not been for his efforts, the class would not have been the success it was. We are very fortunate to have such a fine person, craftsman and teacher on staff.

Brian explains the process of shaping using a shaving horse and spoke shave, both of his own design. In addition to being a skilled craftsman and teacher, Brian has developed a number of hand and machine tools.

Ian chops a mortise in a rear leg. The emphasis of this class has been hand tools which fits well with our school's philosophy of developing a sensible balance between the use of hand and machine skills.

Brian shares the use of a simple jig used to align holes for side rungs. Keeping things simple, again fitting well with the the way things are taught at our school.

Brian and Geoff complete rear assembly. Small class sizes at our school ensure a great deal of one-on-one attention.

Fred shapes the end of a strip of hickory bark on his weaved seat. I had the opportunity to work with Fred a few years ago. He is a fine craftsman with a wonderful family.

Brian demonstrates process of weaving a hickory bark seat. In an effort to utilize the entire tree, the result is a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing seat.

Ian weaves his hickory bark seat. The bark is soaked in water, making it pliable and easy to work. The result speaks for itself.

Fred with his completed chair.

Justin with his completed chair.

Jesse poses with his fine chair made during the week. This is Jesse's second visit to the school. As always he is a pleasure to have around. I had the opportunity to teach Jesse a few years ago and it has been wonderful to watch his progress as a craftsman.

Geoff with his completed chair.

Mac with his completed chair. This chair is extremely strong yet light.

Ian with his completed chair.

Back row from left Mac, Dave. Middle row from left Fred, Geoff, Justin & Ian.
Front row from left Brian, Jesse & Ian.