Sunday, September 22, 2013

under the dome ...

well, we're working with peter moore, of vermont brick ovens again.  we made the forms for the one above and a couple of others, and now we're attempting to simplify the on site set up process. 
basically, we have to create a structure that supports the bricks until the mortar sets.  once that happens, the forms all have to come out the oven door so they can be reused on the next oven ... 
in the past, we made about 24 half domes, which then had to be connected with thin strips of wood to support the bricks .. more or less, not much fun.  this time we plan to make 8 ribs and 24 pieces that lay on top of them, like parts of a turtle shell.  click the photos to enlarge them.
we started with this drawing, and decided we could make the 'shell' pieces an eighth of the dome at a time. we had to add more ribs for the two lower sections
the plywood doesn't really want to conform to the dome shape, and each layer is made from 4 pieces of 1/8th inch bending poplar and one layer of 3/8ths wacky wood.  some kerfs were cut in some of the pieces to facilitate the bends and as you can see in the photo below, the dome shape is not bad.
we plan to sand the whole thing once al 24 sections are laid up, cut to size and fitted.

to get the wood to conform, we had to use many screws, which can all be removed once the glue sets.  we may or may not have to fair the curves with bondo, though i think we will get better with the laminates as we do more of them ...
in the end, the finished oven will look something like this one ...40 years of wood working, and i've never made a dome before .. kind of exciting and challenging for sure ... more pics coming as we progress.

the S.A.T. for adults ..

i thought this was pretty good ... 

click the photo to enlarge it ... i still flunked it though, just like 48 years ago ...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

3rd annual dorset artists show

the dorset artists show has been extended through columbus day !  check it out if you are in the area ... i'd love to sell my table below as the metal shop is running a little over budget.  it's $6500., but i'd consider offers ...
the third annual dorset artists show is up and running, now through september 8th, tuesdays through sundays, from 11 to 6 ...  the opening party is next saturday the 8th, from 4 to 6. come on by.

click the photos to enlarge them ..
we've got one of our claro walnut slab tables with the rebar base for sale there, as well as 6 of our walnut ladderback chairs.  there are also other furniture pieces by dorset furniture makers bill laberge and steve holman.
bill's tansu style cabinet, flanked by two paintings by pam marron, one of our favorite local painters.
and steve has a nice curly maple and walnut console table ready to go as well as an interesting 'mystery' piece that is apparently still in the works.  the painting above steve's table is by cynthia rosen.
there are many other fine contemporary painters represented in the show, as well as a second floor, curated selection of paintings, quilts and furniture from the dorset historical society.  there's something for everyone.
incredible realism from nancy howe russell.  one of her 'painting a brighter future for women' series.
and there are some local scenes by penny viscusi, and many other local landscape painters like brian sweetland, andrew orr, the venerable arthur jones, georgine macgarvey, susan weiss, patty cambell, kathryn buchmayer, and others. 
and there's fantastic art from the historical society on view in a second floor exhibition curated by john matthewson.  above is a view of church street from 1925, by edwin child.  doesn't look much different today.
the dorset area has been an art hotspot for over a hundred years with nationally known and local  artists virtually too numerous to mention.  come on by ...
we've also got a maple burl and steel coffee table on display and our bullseye chestnut mirror below.  SOLD !!
this one is coming home with me if it doesn't sell at this show.  it does not deserve to live in my very dusty office .. i almost forgot it was a mirror till i cleaned it off yesterday.

8/5/13 more photos from the show
 steve holman's mystery piece finally 'showed' up
 melina white's tapestry
 mimi turton .. pastels
another nancy howe russell
a really fine arthur jones from 1954 ... the year, he tells me, of his first solo show at SVAC
more of bill laberge's work
and after you've viewed the dorset artists show, be really sure to check out kate gridley's show at the southern vermont art center.  17, 30 x 60" portraits of her childrens friends 'passing through'  .  it is a trulystunning body of life size portraits, each accompanied by audios of the subjects discussing their thoughts and hopes and dreams.   impressive ...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

torsion box shelves

update 9 22
one more and a tv to go.  the painters just placed them on the cleats and in the notches,  we will glue them to the cleats when the last short shelf has its last coat of paint.
so ok, this was an interesting project.  it's in the same house that we've been working on with the kitchen and the vanities.  there are designers from florida involved and when they were last here, they spied a beam in the driveway that they liked.  it had been removed from the original house during the remodel and we picked it up, took it back to the shop and scrubbed it off.
 their idea was to place it on an angle, in the corner, and have thick shelves fitted to the existing notches. kit came into the shop while we were working on how to attach it to the floor and she said .. 'cool ! a totem pole ! '.. appropriate i thought.  we taped three inch cardboard to the wall to get a feel for the length of the shelves in the space and then photoshopped the beam into the picture ... then we were ready ..
this is an early drawing.  once we saw the cardboard, we extended the shelves on the left ..

 the only way i knew to do this with no support on the ends is called 'torsion box' construction.  essentially, you create a hollow honeycomb structure and when the top and bottom are glued to the frame, an absolutely rigid, stable shelf is created.  you leave a hollow 'pocket' in the back of the structure for the cleat that goes on the wall and then glue the shelves to the cleat and prop them temporarily in place.  next day, remove the props and voila! rigid, unsupported shelves.  i once made a set of these 12' long with no supports on the ends and when i came back to remove the props the next day, the owner had beat me to it and loaded the entire 12' top shelf with encyclopedias and art books .. shocking, but no sags or calamities.  it's a great technique.
 to start, you need an absolutely planar substrate like the 3/4" melamine below.  on that you fabricate the grids with no glue using staples on the joints.  then you glue the tops, bottoms and mitered edges on.  since these were too long for our veneer bag, we used cinder blocks for pressure while the glue was setting.  worked fine. 
 we had two melamine spots so jim could work on the frames while i laid up the tops and bottoms and fitted the edges.
 i did the bottom first, then the mitered edges and ends, then the top last.

it  took a lot of mdf to make the grids and tops.
one more short one to add tomorrow and we turn them over to the painters.  they are actually pretty rigid, even without the glue.  level square, plumb and true ...

Sunday, September 8, 2013

a 'bridges' coffee table

we shipped this one out to california last week ... per the client's request, it is a 24" x 48" coffee table version of our 'bridges' bench.  i almost like it better than the original, and since it was completed, i have also had a request to interpret the design as a dining table base.  i don't know if that will go through or not, but it could be interesting if it does ... scalable, i think is the  word ... bench to a coffee table, to a dining table, to a ... a bridge?  click the photos to enlarge them.
 here's the original, from the bennington museum show, 'state of craft'  .. 50 years of craft in vermont.
cad drawing .. we actually used the same form from the bench, which was the same height as the coffee table .. 
in process in the metal shop

Thursday, September 5, 2013

we have a roof

we have a roof ... thanks to our friends matt conrad, jesse loomis and nat hill, we have a roof .. well, we've got to thank george dunnett, of vermont fancy hardwoods, too for delivering the 15 squares of nice purple slate.  click the photos to enlarge them.

and, inside, we have some of our wires, and and we're hoping to get more, and a plumber before we can insulate and get the inside show on the road .. sam and i still have some work to do around the doors and windows, but we're hoping to get to a little of that over the weekend. 
and a little siding too !

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

discover dorset, vermont

this weekend is the 'discover dorset' weekend in beautiful downtown dorset, vermont, population 2026, zero traffic lights.  kit and i will be at janno's pottery (flower brook pottery, across from thepost office), with kit's jewelry and my portfolios and maybe a small piece of furniture.  the dorset artists show will be open next to the union store, and will's band, goldtown, will be playing some bluegrass on the green from 7 to 10 in the evening.  should all be fun .. come on by if you are in the area ..
click the photos to enlarge them and check out the jewelry