Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Open Classes and Open Pores

I'm happy to announce that we've chosen dates for the class that I'll be teaching at Highland Woodworking in Atlanta. On October 23rd and 24th I'll be teaching a demonstration seminar on chair building that will include the whole process from log to finish, to be followed by a 5 day hands on course in chairmaking from the 25th through the 29th. We are still working out the details about the projects, but I am very excited to be returning to work with the folks down there.

The classes here at my shop in New York are starting to fill into the fall. Because of the wait, I've decided to start a new list for folks who might be interested in filling a canceled class with a few weeks notice. On occasion, someone can't make the class that they've booked and I'll turn to my list of potentials to fill it. I'll call you in the order which I received your name. It always pains me to ask folks to wait to come take a class, I can remember the burning desire to learn...what am I saying, I still have it! Please send me an email if you'd like your name on the list. Thanks

As for the open pores part of the post, as I've written, I have been pushed and stretched by my experience with the walnut. The level of precision and accuracy that it beckons has been challenging and refreshing. I can't wait to take what I've learned back to my painted work.

One thing that I've been careful to maintain is the open pores. I've read plenty about filling pores and sanding with the oil to fill pores. Even when I paint a chair, I'm careful to let the pores show through the wood for the added layer of texture really gives a warmth to the piece.

The walnut is no different. I noticed that even when the light is reflecting directly off a part of the chair, the pores still show. I'd hate to have the surface so uniform that all that I saw was the light bouncing. That's beginning to look too much like plastic, or dare I say it Formica!

To keep the pores open, I've been careful to use a new paint brush to clear out the pores after sanding and before oiling. Of course, the parts of the chair that were shaved to their finish surface will have perfectly clear pores, so it also helps keep all the surfaces matching. Is it a small point, perhaps, but as I mentioned, the walnut insists.

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