Thursday, May 30, 2013

ebay find ... before and after

a little before and after here.  a client brought us the chair below.  it had a lovely mousey bouquet about it and some really funky red fabric, but the bones were good, and the hardware was complete and functional.  our friend isaiah at bespoke upholstery carefully disassembled it, saving the original fabric and frames for patterns .. the headrest is finished and will be reunited with its chair tomorrow.  click the photos to enlarge them ..
and i happen to have on hand a skin of maine chili pepper leather from universal leather company that the client thought was perfect for it.
we sanded the walnut veneer lightly and touched up the black painted edges.  we then gave it to our friend steve holman and he sprayed a little lacquer on it to freshen up the shine and get rid of the mouse odor.
  pretty righteous upholstery work by isaiah ...
 parts and patterns .. we made two new frames for the seat and back upholstery .. all the foam and burlap was replaced too.
 very cool upholstery foundation design.  obviously a factory chair. i tried to find one like it on google images but no luck ... info anyone?
 very nicely laminated frame.  i have no idea how they did that ... lots of pressure somehow.  it's kind of 'folded' into shape.

 the client asked us to reinforce the base so we added a 14 gauge plate 
between the swivel and the seat.  good to go ..
update 5/31

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

a claro walnut slab headboard

our faithful delivery man ken, delivered and hung this claro walnut headboard in new york city last week.  the project has been ongoing for a month or two and it was nice to see it finally in place.
i posted this photo of one of three new slabs i received back in march.  this client picked up on it and asked us to make her a headboard from this one. 
 we did some rough planing, and wet it with some alcohol, and we were on track.
it had some unusual burl like details along the top edge. 

we made a quick cad drawing that included some drawer boxes cantilevered off the ends of the slab.  they seemed a little much, so they were dropped in the end in favor of the minimalist look in our photoshop mockup below.
all's well that ends well and this one ended very well for our client ...
 one of the three slabs from march is still not spoken for ... it's ready to be something anytime ...

Friday, May 24, 2013

open studio 2013

here we go again  ... vermont open studio weekend.  year 21.  i missed a few in the late 90's when we were building and moving, but typically, we're there, opening our doors and welcoming the public into our freshly cleaned workspaces.  it should be called spring cleaning weekend, at least here at dorset custom furniture.  click the photos to enlarge them ...
here we are, thursday at 5 pm.  looks ok, but, man, when you start to move stuff around, it is unbelievable the dust and clutter lurking, like everywhere.
 two truckloads to the dumpster and a totally full pickup for our wood scrap collector ... jim is tackling some seldom seen areas behind the shapers ...
 and here's trevor, at around 11 am, attacking the cnc area.  dan starts to freak out ... we'll never be done !
 sam and jen around 2:30, and the shop is starting to come together
 we set up the claro walnut table that recently returned from a gallery show in massachusetts.
 detail of the table above
 and will was excused from morning clean up to fit and hang the doors and install the hardware on this cool claro walnut credenza .. we got rid of a lot of small claro cutoffs making the veneers for this one. we did make him vacuum the office in the afternoon.
 and he'll have some banjo stuff to see.  this one is gone,  but there will be others, both finished and in process
6/22/2014 .. for photos of 20 more banjos visit will's website at
and sam cleaned the metal shop ... the new metal shop construction will get under way soon.
 and all these pieces have some sam mosheim metalwork on them .. all for sale ... memorial day clearance sale in process ...
  and kit and penny viscusi are ready for visitors in the finish room ... actually, in the end, we were more organized, and we finished setting up earlier than usual.  come on by if you're in town .. saturday and sunday, 10-5 both days ... lots to see ...

Saturday, May 18, 2013

i'm back (sort of) ... spring in vermont

well, when it's springtime in vermont, you can't expect tooooo  much writing from me ... i do have a couple of good posts coming up, but i haven't quite gotten around to getting them together just yet.  soon, i suspect, like maybe tomorrow.  maybe.  if it rains or something.  maybe ... here's a sampler of what it's like outside here now ... like i said.  spring.  click the pictures to enlarge them ...
 you got your grass to mow ... nice change from the snow ...
 you got your hoseshoes to set up
 you got your magnolias ..
 and your phoebe nest ...
 and your fishin'...  sam with a big one from the mettawee ..
 your tulips  ...
and your wood to stack ... all done now ..
your big fat 800+ page book to read ... 400 years of natural history, well written.
your golf to play ... been out a bunch of times ... 
and so much more.
and oh yeah,  we still have to work ... we've been working on the new designs.  heading into it big time on monday ... more soon ... dan

Friday, May 3, 2013

design is a process

well, after about 35 years of this kind of work, i have come to really appreciate the process of design, as much as the event of making stuff, which also is a process, and not a list of a linear progression of steps.  we do something, analyze it, do something different, analyze that, and step by step, move it all forward in small increments.  to get to the model above, i've been working with the builder, the client, and two different designers for a couple of weeks now.  it was a lot of work, but i think we've got a handle on it now, and it has been interesting.  click the photos to enlarge them ...
it started with some architects sketches for a more or less traditional kitchen, with a pantry in a separate room off to the right.  
we went with that originally, and i had just finished my shop drawings below, when i was informed that there was a new designer on board, up from florida, with some new ideas of how the kitchen should look.
he wanted a more streamlined, clean and modern look ... 
 after quickly revising my drawings to reflect his initial input above, trevor and i visited the site again and waved our arms and pencils and cardboard around with everyone for a while, until i realized that it was going to be a little more complicated then that ...  i offered to make a scale model.  time was short, but we got on it 
so the site looked like below thursday afternoon ... 
and the model looked like below friday morning ... 
so after another meeting friday morning, it was back to the shop, and mid afternoon, back to the site with the model below, adjustments and additions completed glue and double cardboard ... nothing better
north and east
east and south ...
back to the new shop drawings monday ... a couple more model changes and we're good to go ...
so now, the confusing little room is gone, it all feels more open, clean and spacious, and, it's the
1/26/2014 .. i felt i should add some photos of the finished kitchen