Saturday, February 25, 2012

At WoodExpo 2012, part 2

(Go back to part 1)

At the MFA in a light snow. Appealing to the Great Spirit: will we finally have winter this winter?

The second day actually started before the show opened, at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Seven of us from the WoodExpo were given a tour of the furniture in the new wing by Dennis Carr, the Carolyn and Peter Lynch Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Art of the Americas. They have a number of magnificent pieces. My favorite exhibit was the Newport room, with Townsend pieces like the one I'm building with Al Breed. The 17th century collection includes a reproduction by Peter Follansbee.

In the half-billion dollar new wing at the MFA, from left, Freddy Roman, Rick Waters, Steve Skillins, Dennis Carr, Scott Oja, Ryan Messier, and Rusty Burwell.

Peter Follansbee's reproduction top over an original base.

In the afternoon, another group of us were given a tour of the North Bennett St. School by provost Claire Fruitman. Tommy Mac and Eli Cleveland are both graduates of the cabinet and furniture making program. The school also has programs in bookbinding, violin making (one of only 4 in the country), piano technology, carpentry, preservation carpentry, locksmithing, and jewelry making.

Neils Cosman listens as Claire Fruitman describes the program in the violin making room.

Claire shows us one of the furniture and cabinet making rooms.

Back at the WoodExpo, we had a steady stream of people coming through. I gave a number of demos of carbriole leg shaping and let people try the tools. One little girl was so small that even standing on my toolbox her chin was barely even with the leg in the carving vise, but she was still able to take shavings with the spokeshave.

My demo at the main bench, videotaped by Justin DiPalma, was resawing by hand. The background noise was so loud we didn't bother with the mike. I started off with a piece of construction-grade 2x6, resawing off a 3/8" panel. Then I did a little stunt resawing, using a Japanese ryoba pull saw to cut a 1/16" veneer from a small piece of pine.

But of course, anybody can resaw soft pine, so for the last piece I resawed a length of 4"-wide oak. There's your Jim Kingshott fine oak drawer sides! Just need 50 sets to be dovetailed up.

I'll post a link to the video once they have it up. Yes, this is indeed work, I worked up a sweat doing it! Most people are surprised to see everything done by hand. Some clearly think I'm a nut case!

The guys running the WoodExpo for the rest of us: Rick Waters, Justin DiPalma, Scott Oja, and Eli Cleveland.

Freddy Roman at work on one of his own cabriole legs. He's working on a bench built by Justin DiPalma. On the front left corner is a card with the QR code for his website that I made up for him. However, I only saw one person all day try one of the QR codes I had on my bench.

WoodExpo exhibitors Mike Morton, Mike McCoy, and Quentin Kelley in front of  McCoy's contemporary lamps. Morton lives about 3 miles from me, McCoy less than 10. We all have to drive at least an hour away before we ever meet up anywhere. Same with Freddy, and he lives less than half a mile from me!

Ryan Messier discussing some of his tables with potential customers.

Rusty Burwell with his beautiful Japanese step-chest in Greene and Greene Art and Crafts style. One of the themes for exhibition pieces was "The Next Step", building some kind of step stool in any style from traditional to whimsical.

Chuck Bender working on line and berry inlay. In the background you can see his ball-and-claw carving DVD playing.

Tom McLaughlin with several of his magnificent pieces.

Thank you to Dennis Carr and Claire Fruitman for taking the time to show us around. Rusty said from now on he was only going to go on museum tours led by the curators, because those are the best!

(Continue to part 3)

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