Welcome to the current publication of Heart Hand and Eye, Inside Passage School of Fine Woodworking's newsletter celebrating the work of our students, alumni and faculty. Heart Hand & Eye will return on Sunday October 19, 2008.
Craig from Minnesota United States displays a plank of locally harvested 10/4 Arbutus just out of our dehumidification kiln making room for our log of Chinese Elm. The Arbutus was milled in 2004 and had been air dried down to 23% outside prior to being loaded in the kiln the end of August. Of the over three hundred board feet of material tested the moisture content coming out of the dehumidification kiln averaged 8.5%. It was transferred to our woodroom where it will settle prior to use.
A number of students have expressed interest in using Arbutus for their first piece. Our students will be moving onto drawer making and fitting this coming week and will be using Arbutus for the sides and back, locally harvested red cedar for the bottom and kwila for the front. We will be exposing our students to a variety of woods during the fundamental exercises. This prepares students for the diverse working properties of woods they will be using when we move onto first projects next month.
Chinese Elm Drying Schedule to Date
The Chinese Elm arrived at the school in mid-August at a moisture content of 21.5% and has been air drying at the school since that time.
- October 1, 2008, 19.5%, Loaded in Kiln
- October 2, 2008, 17.1%, 3 cups Water
- October 3, 2008, 15.9%, 1 1/2 cups Water
- October 4, 2008, 14.6%, 1 cup Water
Nick has volunteered to be our kiln monitor. Each morning he removes water from the dehumidifier and meters the wood. We will post his readings in future publications of Heart Hand & Eye until the wood is removed from the kiln. When the Chinese Elm comes out we have another five hundred feet of locally harvested Arbutus to go in.
We are honored to have Jim's continued commitment to our small school. Jim continues to lecture once a week. His inspiring words continue to inspire a whole new generation of craftsman. We will have excerpts from his lectures from this years Craftsman Program in our next publication.
Michael from England uses his bench light to determine where material needs to be removed from with his fine plane. Michael who is coming to the school from a very different background has made impressive progress since arriving at the school and will soon be joined by his wife and newborn son currently in France.
Barb from British Columbia Canada uses her spokeshave tuned up in the previous week to shape her ash leg during the graphics, shaping and joinery exercise. I am so pleased to be apart of this fine young craftsman's craft education. If the fundamental exercises are any indication she has a fine career ahead of her in our craft.
Fergal from Ireland uses his finely tuned spokeshave to fit his curved edge joint in eastern maple. Fergal left me a fine ebony bevel gauge on my bench this past week which I will be putting to use this week. He is very focused and enjoys the work and it shows in his workmanship.
A few weeks ago on a Saturday morning we watched Rivers and Tides a film about Scottish sculptor Andy Goldsworthy There is a part in the film where a cairn has fallen for the fourth time. He spoke about how each time it fell he learned more about the stone. Very in keeping with the exercise and the philosophy taught at our school.
At the end of the Artisan Program Grig from Romania prepares to move to his new bench for the Craftsman Program. Grig had to return to Romania for a few weeks, his smiling face is expected back at the school any day.
Jody from Ontario Canada uses the sensitivity in his fingers to determine where material needs to be removed from the wedge to correct a lateral adjustment problem during the making of his first plane at the school. Jody has a real passion for our craft and is a warm and thoughtful man.
At our school we encourage students to use their senses when working the material. Often we are able to hear as well as feel when a tool is not working properly. We then look for simple and effective solutions to correct problems.
Yosuke from Japan uses his scraping plane to adjust his wooden straight edge during the Heart Hand & Eye Exercise. Yosuke is discovering the wonderful subtleties of our wooden planes and the compliment they are to his fine Japanese Planes. Yosuke is a fine craftsman and a joy to watch at work.
Welcome Yasko and U, we are very happy to have you here with us. Yosuke's wife and son have arrived last week. We are very happy to have Yosuke and his young family at our small school.
The first shaving from a plane made by Neil from British Columbia Canada made during the 2007 Artisan Program after he fitted the plane with an insert. Neil has taken full advantage of the review of many of the exercises he had previously covered in the Artisan Program. Jody gave Neil a fine piece of osage orange for another plane.
After students had moved onto second planes, Robert demonstrated inserts and applied soles to give old planes a second life. Juan Carlos gave Neil a fine grained piece of cocobolo for the insert.
Craig from Minnesota United States uses one of our Davis & Wells boring machines to cut a mortise free hand using an end mill bit. Craig has picked up where he left off last year when he completed our Artisan Program. He gave some wonderful advice to one of his classmates yesterday. He said "If you are getting frustrated more than you are learning its time to move on." Fine advice from a fine man and craftsman. I am looking forward to the work coming off his bench this year.
Steve from Ontario Canada planes the surfaces of his sawhorse parts prior to assembly. Steve is making the transition to wooden planes and is discovering the simplicity of sharpening and tuning and the wonderful feel of one of these finely crafted instruments. I gave Steve a rather challenging maple board for the Heart Hand & Eye exercise which he planed the surface to a impeccable finish.
Hannah had to return to England for a few weeks and is expected back any day. All of us at the school are grateful to have this fine young craftsman back for our extended program. Hannah I hope you read this before you leave.
Sunday October 5, 2008
Your smiling face is missed but your bench has been absorbed by Doug, Juan Carlos and Daisuke. I do my best to stay off of it myself but it really is a great spot surrounded by really nice people.
PS Your new classmates rock & your bench mate is a total perfectionist, just thought I would give you the heads up.
Derek from Manitoba Canada uses his finely tuned spoke shave to shape his leg of ash during the graphics shaping and joinery exercise. Derek is a sweet young man and aspiring craftsman. I have enjoyed watching his progresses and am looking forward to watching his transition into projects next month.
Students are given a rough billet of ash. The grain is straightened and orientated to rift sawn on the bandsaw. A curve is cut on two faces revealing the grain following the curve. Students then carefully refine the curves, square inside faces then shape the leg bringing it to life. Students had previously been given the opportunity to use a spoke shave to refine a curved edge joint, this exercise is an extension of that but also allowing students to feel the freedom of shaping with a hand tool which is a much more enjoyable process and is even more efficient than spending time in the machine room making elaborate jigs and fixtures to try and reproduce the sensitivity of our hands. Students are then introduced to freehand mortising. Students cut a mortise in their shaped leg and fit a tenon to the mortise prior to moving on to the saw horse exercise.
Nick from Minnesota United States checks the face of his maple board for flat and wind. The first part of this exercise deals with our ability to effectively troubleshoot and correct issues with accuracy. Of course recognizing when a tool becomes dull and being able to dismantle the plane, sharpen the iron reassemble and get back to making shavings is also practiced with repetition Finally students become directly exposed to the step of complexity when working on a curve.
Brad from Alberta Canada uses a chisel to cleanup the bottom corner of the half lapped joint for the top of his saw horses. Brad has very good hand skills and has already found a sensible balance with hand and machine tools.
In Ian Godfrey's first year as a student, he chose to make his saw horses half scale then used them as parts racks on his bench. This allowed him to work in a more manageable scale better spend his time refining the joinery by hand. This was the inspiration for the changes we made in the saw horse exercise this year. Once the parts racks are complete students have the option of making a set of saw horses.
Jason from North Carolina United States cuts the profile for his first plane of jatoba. Having trained with Gary Rawlins and taken a plane making class with David Fink, both College of the Redwoods graduates, Jason had already developed an appreciation for fine wooden planes. Jason chose a shape similar to one of my planes made by JK for his first. Jason and his classmates discovered that the jatoba used to make their first planes continued to move around a bit for the first few weeks giving them plenty of opportunity to troubleshoot and become more familiar with their fine tools.
Resident Craftsman Program
Resident Craftsman Daisuke Tanaka from Japan during the first walkaound of the year. We have been very fortunate to have such a fine group of second year students at the school since the school's inception. I am very grateful to have this fine young craftsman back.
Daisuke shares an uncompromised approach to our craft and leads by example setting a high standard for our first year students (& faculty). Daisuke has his mockup for lovely writing desk underway.
It began with the intention to reproduce JK's writing desk of Italian walnut made back in the early seventies. Once Daisuke found what he thought was a suitable plank he soon discovered that the graphics was showing him something otherwise.
At that point Daisuke made a decision that many of us face as craftsman, try and make a piece of wood fit the piece, perhaps even a compromise in this case or change course. Let the wood speak and do his best to listen. Daisuke's did just that, his desk will not be asymmetrical as was JK's desk and will contain six drawers which he assures me will be completed in time for the December show. The desk will make wonderful use of a gentle curve in a fine plank of Swiss pear.
Resident Craftsman Doug Ives is nearing the completion of his vanity made of edge grain fir. This commission has been a great exercise in flexible accuracy and working with multiple live tenon joinery on a curve. Following completion of the vanity, Doug will be moving onto his dragonfly cabinet for our first semester show.
Doug continues to have a strong presence at the school and his years of experience are a valuable resource to our students.
Resident Craftsman & Teacher Juan Carlos Fernandez and Craig discuss the fit of Craig's curved edge joint part of this years new Heart Hand & Eye exercise which replaces the perfect board exercise done in previous years at the school.
Juan Carlos starts the demonstration of the Heart Hand & Eye exercise.
In the exercise students are given a piece of eastern hard maple. They are required to flatten and square a face and edge using their wooden smoothers made the week prior. Students then square an end to both the face and edge using their finely tuned block planes. Students then split the board along its length and edge joint the pieces using their jointer planes made the previous week. Once an acceptable joint is archived, students cut a mild curve along its length and use a spokeshave to fit the joint. At that point squares and straight edges are put away and students re-flatten and square the board using their hearts, their hands and their eyes (and their fine planes). All edges are then softened using planes and chisels.
Jim has never been keen on this exercise. As a student I enjoyed it. When we overhauled the curriculum this summer I thought about a few modifications to the exercise making more enjoyable and even bringing the students an even more intimate understanding of the tools and the materials of the craftsman.
Craftsman & Teacher Ian Godfrey shown here demonstrating the making of small bevel gauges to be used during dovetailing in the coming weeks.
Ian has his rocking chair nearing completion which will be presented in the first semester show on December 20, 2008 at our Heart Hand & Eye Gallery. The workmanship of this piece is exquisite and represents uncompressed quality we have come to expect from this fine young craftsman.
Ian has had a busy fall schedule spending five days a week building a house on a nearby island along with alumni Federico Mendez Castro and Stephen Esdon and then teaching each Saturday at the school. Still manages to get time in with his lovely family and in the shop.
With Fundamental Exercises well underway, Resident Craftsman & Teacher Robert Van Norman shown here demonstrating the curved edge joint with this years class, will be returning to his bench this coming week. Robert has been waiting for this seven years for this day and has an ambitious schedule with four commissions to complete by the end of this years Craftsman Program.
The first two pieces, a letter box and side table with marquetry and parquetry will be presented in the up coming first semester show on December 20, 1008. The chair and cabinet on stand will be presented during our annual Student, Alumni & Faculty Show on May 16, 2009. Both SHows take place at our Hear Hand & Eye Gallery.
Last week Robert spent a couple mornings with the students discussing first projects and about the rich diversity of our chosen material.
Fergal and his plethora of bevel gauges.
Barb explains to the class why all the planks of pecan have her name on them.
The ebony for the gauges was a gift to the class from Jody.
Juan Carlos and his wooden leg.
Sometimes there are no words.
Daisuke mocking up his desk.
Craig's curved edge joint prior to glue up
Quote of the Week
"I buy my red cedar from the beach."
This will be Jason Klager's third session January 19-31, 2008 as a Journeyman at the school. Jason is a fine craftsman who builds exquisite furniture out of his northern British Columbia shop and specializes in marquetry. Jason will join us during mockups as second semester pieces are underway.
In addition to impeccable craftsmanship Jason also possesses a very complementary design aesthetic giving our students the opportunity to have additional design and construction input. This is very in keeping with our schools un compromised approach to craft. Jason will also teach the marquetry component of our program.
This will be Jacques Breau second session as a journeyman at our school May 4-16 2009. Jacques is a fine craftsman who builds fine furniture out of his shop in New Brunswick.
Jacques has an exceptional set of hands and a wonderful way with people. We are delighted to have him return to assist us at a very busy time of the program where our students needs are at their highest.
Inside Passage School of Fine Woodworking is proud to announce the first of two Resident Craftsman Program students selected for the 2009-2010 school year. Eric Deklavs from our inaugural year will be joining us for a second year of study next fall when taking part in our Resident Craftsman Program. Erik and his partner Hillary drove all the way from Vernon British Columbia to join us for our new Gallery opening a last week.
Dovetails of Alaska yellow cedar in a subtle curve, Erik's first piece at Inside Passage School of Fine Woodworking. Erik's is one of the finest craftsman to come out of our school and is an equally fine man. Erik and Hillary are a couple who's support for one another is as evident as Erik's un compromised approach to our craft.
At the opening of the gallery Yvonne neglected to thank someone dear to all of us at the school. Since its inception Bruce has always been willing to lend a hand. He is a tireless member of our community who has done to many things to mention for us at the school. Yvonne felt sick when she realized the oversight. Thanks Bruce for all that you have done for Yvonne and I and our small school.
Heart Hand & Eye Gallery
Our Annual Student Show & Open House takes place on December 20th. Open House will take place from 1-5pm at the school. The show will take place in our Gallery from 7-10pm. If you would like more information or assistance with finding accommodation, contact the school toll free at 1.877.943.9663.
Artisan, Guest Faculty & Craftsman Programs for 2009
Adrian Ferrazzutti: Chair Making & Design July 6-10, 2009
Inside Passage School of Fine Woodworking is pleased to announce our guest faculty for 2009. Adrian Ferrazzutti will be teaching Chair Making & Design July 6-10, 2009.
Don't miss this rare opportunity to study with one of today's finest craftsman & designers. Early registration for this program is recommended. If you would like more information or if you would like to register please call Yvonne toll free at 1.877.943.9663
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