Friday, July 18, 2008

In the Cycle

Every year, summer promises to be a relaxing series of lazy days, and of course every year, I pack more into each day than is reasonable. There is just so much to do. Between gardening, building projects, firewood prep (winter is always just around the corner) and of course, chair work, there doesn't seem to be enough hours. These days, the shop is a hotbed of activity. After a decision last year to free the shop from orders to allow time for new designs, I am enjoying the process of realizing new pieces. I've had fun trying out some new geometry and thanks to months of development, I am having no problem creating techniques to make it happen. I've been spending a lot of time gathering ideas and influences from the world around me and trying to stretch my comfort both visually and technically.

Here is a rough mock up of the rocker that I am making. I hope to have it finished for a show that I'll be in next weekend. After the show, I will return to my timberframe shed series.




I have been using some interesting data from the Humanscale 1/2/3 book (which is out of print and impossible to find, so let me know if you have one sitting on the shelf!). The few pages that I've seen have been very interesting and in putting the data to the test, I think that I've made my most comfortable rocker to date.



Since leaving city life behind eight years ago, I have become more attuned to the cycles happening all around me. The may be seasonal, natural or of my own making, but whichever, I am increasingly fascinated. Something feels very right when disparate activities feed into each other. Today, I took notice as I was carving a pine seat. I start with my air dried planks. I cut around the knots to get seat blanks, the knotty sections become bending forms. While carving, I set the shavings aside to use for bedding for my chickens, which someday will fertilize and mulch my garden. The larger pieces cut away with the bandsaw (more sawdust mulch) will burn in my syrup rig in the spring (hot quick fires work best). Beyond the potential of recycling and being a more responsible consumer, the real joy of this cycle is the labor saving. Now that I am immersed in the country, everywhere that I look seems to offer an opportunity. I used to wonder how folks used to live without modern conveniences, perhaps my interest in handtools originated in this curiosity. As I give into my interests and let them expand beyond woodworking, I have a real sense of belonging.

4 comments:

jd king said...

What kind of chickens you end of up getting Pete?

jd king said...

Extra "of" there I guess...

Peter Galbert said...

Josh,
I got barred rocks. They are growing great and we just started free ranging them, they love it.
Pete

Rooch said...

How did you bend to backs - being a post and rung guy myself, I was wondering if you used a form or maybe did some freehanding???