August 21, 2006

This will be the final Benchroom this week for the Summer Programming for 2006. I would like to take this opportunity thank all of our alumni, students, guest faculty, resident faculty and staff as well as our board of directors for their ongoing support. A special thank you to Jim and Britta Krenov for facilitating our weekly talks. They continue to provide me a invaluable source of inspiration.

We finished off this years Summer Program with Jim Budlong who was one of Robert's teachers at the College of the Redwoods where he continues to teach two days a week. Jim and his wife Sue have a homestead near Comptche. Their home and shop are powered for the most part with solar energy. Jim just completed his new shop which Robert had a chance to see on his recent visit to California. Robert also had the opportunity to see Jim's most recent piece. A chest of Kwila, European Elm and Lebanese cedar. It was what we have come to expect form Jim's work...impeccably done. A fine craftsman and an inspiring teacher. A special thank you to Sue for keeping the home fires burning allowing Jim to visit our school. It meant a lot to me to have another of my teachers teacher here at our school.

Jim explains the transfer of half blind pins to tails. Jim has a comfortable and relaxed way of teaching. His lectures are always informative and equally entertaining.

The class watches on while Jim cuts the tails for the front of his drawer.

Stan from Santa Barbara scribes the inside face of the front his drawer front of euro cherry. Stan had taken a couple of classes with Jim at the College of the Redwoods Summers Programming and will be returning to Inside Passage next summer for Brian Newell who will be visiting from Japan and teaching compound curved veneer work. We enjoyed having Stan and look forward to next years visit.

Jim cuts the shoulder on the rear set of pins of his drawer. Always nice to watch another minimalist in action. Jim showed up with a few chisels, a couple of planes and hammers, a few layout tools and a file. This goes to show you do not need a cabinet full of tools to do good work.

Bill from Vancouver, checks the fit on the rear joinery of his drawer. Bill was very focused and work was meticulous. He very nice man and we look forward to is next visit.

Jim's drawer fit and "tricked out" awaiting the bottom of Port Orford Cedar.

Jim discusses joinery with Ian, one of our resident craftsman and teachers. This was a good opportunity for Ian to observe a fine craftsman and teacher in action. We are very pleased to have Ian join our teaching staff for the Craftsman Program this fall. He has a good hands, a good eye and a wonderful way with people. Ian and his partner Marnie are expecting a baby any day. This falls class includes a few families. Last year this added a great deal to the experience for all of us at the school.

Gary, joining us for our second program at the school. Last year it was veneers and curves. Following that program he returned to Salt Spring Island and made a vacuum press and put to use many of the skills taught in that program including making a set of curved fronts, one of which he brought along with him this visit. Gary completed a finely made drawer beautifully fit. Always the first at school in the morning and last to leave each evening. A pleasure to have at our school. Gary has invited Federico, one of our resident craftsman and his family for a visit to his home the week prior to the Craftsman Program. Gary has plans to return for Brian Newell's class next July. Brian is doing some of the most inspiring work being done today. This class is already filling. Don't miss the opportunity to study with one of the most ground breaking craftsman of today.

Brent, taking his fourth class at the school fits his drawer bottom of Port Orford Cedar to his completed drawer. Brent did a fine job on his drawer and had the opportunity to begin another dovetailed box of ash. Always a pleasure having Brent here. Many of our students are like family. We look forward to his next visit.

Jim arrives for dinner at the beach by kayak. Our son is apprenticing as a guide with Jamie and Sara Mani of Alpha Adventures here in Roberts Creek. They donated the use of kayaks for Jim and Ian. Rob, Jim and Ian paddled from Roberts Creek Beach to Varco beach. We were joined by Gary and Stacia Kent where we gathered with food and drink. Gary will act as our relief teacher this fall. After a lovely meal and conversation we watched another amazing sun set. The class gathered at the same spot on Friday for our last elephants of the summer. We have many alumni returning for first elephants which takes place September 8th.

Standing from Left: Jim, Robert, Federico, Brent, Ian & Stan.
Seated from Left Gary and Bill.