Our new hand carved gallery sign made by Artisan Alumni Brian MacAllister in old growth Red Cedar. The cedar was donated to the school by Bradley Hunt. The craftsmanship in this piece is breathtaking. Brian is a skilled and honest craftsman and is accepting clients on Salt Spring Island. For more information contact Island Joinery at 250.538.8847. We are so grateful to have the opportunity to work with such beautiful people throughout the year.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our students and alumni. This school not only exists for you, but because of you. From all of us at Inside Passage School of Fine Woodworking we wish all of you a holiday season and coming year filled with peace, health and happiness.
Warmest Well Wishes,
Robert & Yvonne
First Semester Show & Open House
Our fourth annual first semester open house and show took place on December 20, 2008. Yvonne and I would like to thank all of our students and alumni who contributed with all the preparations leading up to the show.
A special thank you to all of our alumni, family and friends who made the effort to join us for the celebration of work by our students, alumni and faculty.
The gallery and office is now closed and will reopen on January 5, 2008. For those who were unable to attend the opening, it will run through until the end of April when we will replace it with our annual year end student, alumni and faculty show. Make plans now to join us on May 16, 2008 at 7pm. Need accommodation? Try on of our fine Bed & Breakfasts or contact Yvonne toll free at 1.877.943.9663.
All new work will be professionally photographed in the coming weeks and will be available in the next publication of Heart Hand & Eye.
Our galley is filled with fine furniture available for purchase. If you are interested in acquiring one of this pieces or if you would like to commission a piece by one of our alumni, contact the school toll free at 1.877.943.9663 for contact information.
"... very good luck to all of you, a personal greeting from the old man, I feel like I almost know some of you and I enjoy that fact very much. Enjoy your work and share with people at the show, the process. Enjoy the fact that you are at a unique school with a unique guy, a chance of a life time... "
Michael from England completed this fine wall cabinet in kwila and narra with coopered door and shop made hardware for his first piece. All surfaces are sheared and finished with a favorite plane. Nice work Michael.
Barb from British Columbia Canada completed this lovely dovetailed box in lacewood, mendocino cypress and pear for her first piece. She has a wall cabinet in mind for her second piece which she will be mocking up during the two weeks of exercises following break. Barb, who like may of our students arrived at the school with little or no experience has shown that passion for craft, practice and a little direction can produce lovely results. We are so grateful that Barb has begin her life long journey in craft with us.
Fergal from Ireland has just the drawer to complete on his fine wall cabinet in teak and lebanese cedar. All surfaces were shaped and prepared with a fine plane and while his edges needed frequent sharpening, the workmanship of this piece is exquisite. Fergal has really done the plank he purchased from Daisuke justice with his careful selection of the grain. Yvonne and I are so grateful to have Fergal and his lovely young family with us at the school.
Grig from Romania is nearing completion his dovetailed box in london plane with carved lid. Grig was held up with bureaucratic red tape and arrived after the start of the program. Grig is a sweet man always willing to lend a hand to one of his classmates, Yvonne or myself. Grig and his girlfriend Raluca have been most welcome members of this community. Grig is a graduate of our Artisan Program.
Jody from Ontario Canada completed his side table with drawer in honduras mahogany , beech and manitoba maple and has already begun mocking up a compound curved veneered cabinet for his second piece. We are grateful for the commitment Jody and his partner Margarete have made to join us for the beginning of his journey.
Yosuke from Japan has a fine eye and skilled hands. Yosuke completed this wall cabinet in Elm, donated to the school by Artisan alumni Dan McCallum of Vancouver. The back panel is pecan, locally harvested and milled by this past summers Artisan Program as a side activity. The drawer is olive, a gift from Robert with sides of an unknown yellowish wood. The workmanship is very sweet. We are very grateful to have Yosuke and his family joining us all the way from Japan.
Neil from British Columbia Canada completed his plum box a few weeks back. The plum was a gift from Juan Carlos, the elm for the bottom was a gift from Yosuke. Congratulations Neil on some fine work! Neil has been busy with the design of a his second piece, a table with a drawer which he will be mocking up during the first two weeks of exercises when our students return from break.
Craig from Minnesota United States completed his wall cabinet in arbutus, apple, doussie and curly maple. The maple was a gift from Robert, used on one of JK's final cabinets. Craig's wife, Carol exhibited her fine woven scarves and linen along side the furniture. Lovely work by a lovely man.
Steve from Ontario Canada completed his wall cabinet in walnut, apple, arbutus, spalted elm and red cedar. A rather ambitious piece by a very skilled and sweet man. Steve intends to complete two more pieces this year including a veneered cabinet and a chair. Steve has returned to Ontario to be with his family over the holidays.
Hannah from England completed a box with two sliding lids on damson, or wild plum with a mendocino cypress bottom. She has already mocked up her second piece a cabinet on tall stand which she intends to make of pear she brought with her from England. Hannah will be staying in Roberts Creek over the holidays. We are so grateful she choose to return this fall after spending this past summer with us at the school in the Artisan Program.
Derek from Manitoba Canada completed a secret mitered dovetail box in kauri pine with a tray and sliding lid. Derek did a fine job despite this rather challenging joinery. Derek will be returning to Manitoba for the holidays. A thoughtful piece by a thoughtful craftsman.
Nick from Minnesota United States completed a box with tapered and curved dovetails a few weeks back in arbutus, curly maple and an unknown wood and has already mocked up and broken out some of the stock for his next piece, a showcase cabinet in Chinese elm. Nick has been a pleasure to teach and I am anxious to see what this fine young craftsman has in store for us in the second semester. Nick has returned to Minnesota for the holidays.
Brad from Alberta Canada completed a wall cabinet with 'cracked ice' doors and two drawers in kwila, narra and arbutus just minutes before the show. Brad made all his own hardware which he made and applied a patenation solution giving it a lovely red brown finish. It has been an absolute joy to watch this fine young man develop as a craftsman. The flare in his dovetails says it all, Brad embraces all that we aspire to here at the school. I think the residents of Roberts Creek must think he lives at the school. Brad is one of our key holders and routinely is the last to leave the school each night. We expect big things from this fine you craftsman in the second semester. We were grateful that Brad's father made the trip from Edmonton for the show.
Jason from North Carolina United States will complete his fine bourbon cabinet of doussie and kauri pine when he returns from break. The cabinet features compound curved top, bottom, sides and doors and a shelf suspended from the top with a post attached with a through, wedged and pillowed mortise and tenon. Jason, used many of his own planes as well as a few of mine, including one of JK's to complete the shaping. Jason, as did each of his classmates made all the hardware for their first pieces including, hinges, wall hangers and wooden latches. Jason is a fine craftsman and even finer young man. We are grateful to have him with us at the school.
Daisuke Tanaka from Japan was hit with a nasty virus and as a result was unable to have his desk in swiss pear completed for the show. The workmanship of the piece is superb and will be presented along with additional work at the year end exhibition. Despite being ill for the last month and a half Daisuke has set a fine example for our students and faculty with this rather challenging piece. The above photo taken back in November prior to assembly shows the frame structure which will house four drawers running on a curve.
photography by Chris Mortensen
Daisuke will be staying on following the Resident Craftsman where he will maintain a bench at the school and take on the maintenance of our machines. We are grateful to have this fine young craftsman with us at the school.
A recently completed commission by Resident Craftsman Doug Ives. The vanity is made of fir, constructed using fine joinery with brushed enamel finish. The curved sided dovetailed drawers are made of beech with spalted maple bottoms. Doug will be turning his attention to speculative work in preparation for our upcoming year end exhibition. His dragonfly cabinet underway will be worth the trip alone.
photography by Chris Mortensen
Resident Craftsman & Teacher Juan Carlos Fernandez presented his last cabinet 'Trinity' and was kept busy assisting students up to just minutes before the show. Sharing the teaching has been made the load much more manageable this year. I am so grateful to have such fine faculty at the school. For more pictures of Juan's work, past and present, visit his blog.
photography by Chris Mortensen
Craftsman & Teacher Ian Godfrey is away for a well deserved break and was unable to attend the show however all in attendance were impacted with his recent work. The rocking chair in walnut and leather is as comfortable as it is beautiful. Ian has a bench underway. You can watch its progress on his blog.
A Teachers Notebook
by Robert Van Norman
Resident Craftsman & Teacher
photography by Chris Mortensen
We have been approached by Fine Woodworking Magazine who have asked to publish 'A Teachers Notebook'. Watch for details in the next publication of Heart Hand & Eye.
This week, I will be completing the drawer of my second piece this fall, a sewing table in kwila, narra and kauri pine and will feature its journey and mine in our next publication.
Federico Mendez Castro presented his recently completed commission, a high table in pacific yew and afzelia. Watching our students "find their own voice" while maintaining the highest level of craftsmanship and careful selection of grain really brings a warm feeling to my heart. Federico is a regular visitor to the school sharing his passion for our material and craft with our current students.
Alumni Cody Bradford's refurbished Davis & Wells bandsaw. If you would like to acquire one of these fine saws visit Davis & Wells.
Next fall, Yvonne and I will be attending Jason Corey's wedding in Asheville North Carolina. This past week I received a call from alumni Paul Nielsen. He has acquired a few fine machines including a 20" Davis and Wells Bandsaw, Davis & Wells Boring Machine, 8" Northfield jointer and Northfield shaper equipped with a router collect. Paul already has his bench and hand tools set up and has commissioned and speculative pieces underway. Yvonne and I will be doing our best to squeeze in a visit with Paul and Robyn in Alabama around the wedding.
We will be placing our annual bench order with Leif Karlsson of Målilla Hyvelbänkar this spring . Any alumni wishing to acquire one of his fine benches should contact the school 1.877.943.9663.
Maedhbh, Tadi & Maaike at the our Christmas party
Our annual Christmas party was held at the Gumboot Restaurant a few weeks back. A wonderful meal with live folk music. Each of our students and faculty drew a name and made a secret santa gift. The gifts included, knives, chisels, planes, straight edges and other hand made items. A lovely evening was held by all.
Our son is studying Marine Engineering in North Vancouver and is home for break. He has offered to assist me with the overhaul of one of our shapers and to change the bearings on the large jointer. While he has spent allot of time with me in the shop over the years, I am reminded that his hand were made for different work. I so cherish the time I have to spend with him.
Heart Hand & Eye Gallery
The falling snow gave the gallery served as an almost magical back drop for our gallery just hours prior to the show opening. Alumni of the school are encouraged to submit work for upcoming exhibitions.
Programs for 2009
We are accepting registrations for our Artisan and Guest Faculty Programs for 2009. If you would you would like more information or would like to register call Yvonne toll free at 1.877.943.9663. Alternatively registrations may be faxed to 1.604.885.9711.
We are currently accepting applications for the 2009-2010 Craftsman Program.
Artisan Program Schedule for 2009