February 25, 2011

1000 Board Feet of Cuban Mahogany

David Welter just received shipment of 1,000 board feet of cuban mahogany. According to Fine Woodworking, this wood has been commercially extinct for about 100 years, and disappeared from the US market around 1950. It can't be cut down, but trees can be harvested after natural disasters. David came into this lot of cuban mahogany through a friend of a friend that had to liquidate his stockpile of the wood. As you can see in the photo below, the students are very excited about the wood's arrival. 

I had the pleasure of helping David inventory the lot. This saved my back from the physical labor of moving the wood around, and I also got to see each and every board that came into the wood room and ask David tons of questions about what he looks for in a board. I also learned how to properly measure board feet. All in all, it was a good experience. 

February 22, 2011

Sometimes you Learn the Hard Way

One of my classmates (who shall remain unnamed) returned from the President's Day break to find this prank at his bench. The pranksters also reversed the chipbreakers on his plane irons, covered his girlfriend's face with a cutout of Matthew Mcconaughey's in a photo on his wall, and wrapped his lamp lightbulb in tape. Perhaps he'll think twice the next time he leaves his stuff scattered throughout the shop. 

One of Krenov's Last Cabinets

A few weeks ago David Welter brought to school one of Krenov's cabinets. The atmosphere in the shop immediately turned to one of reverie, and became almost crypt-like. The cabinet on a stand is small, maybe four feet tall, but it invites you to interact with it. It felt almost like it was a sentient being. I'm not sure why Krenov was enamored with making cabinets, but viewing the cabinet that David shared with us brought a few ideas to mind. The first idea is that cabinets are the perfect blank canvass to show off a piece of wood. It isn't so much about the subtle curves of the cabinet as it is about the weight and feel of the wood, the emotion it can convey in grain graphics or a splash of color. The other idea is that Krenov's cabinets are meant to display a few precious items. From what I can gather, Krenov grew up poor, and I can see why the idea of having something important or loved to put into one of his cabinets appealed to him. So there you have it, my personal musings. I hope you enjoy the photos of the cabinet. You can see that the class certainly enjoyed the experience. 

February 21, 2011

Sundays are for Exploring and Ultimate Frisbee

Sundays are for exploring. A number of Sundays ago a friend took me to a sink hole just past Mendocino. After repelling down a rope and into the gaping hole in the ground, we were rewarded with a sunset through the crashing waves of a sea tunnel that washes into the sink hole. Thanks, Cody, for sharing!

The other fun thing that happens on Sundays is ultimate frisbee on the Mendocino Headlands. What a beautiful, mind-clearing way to spend the weekend!

Finally, I can't resist posting this insanely cute picture of Todd, an instructor at CR, and his baby, Sadie. 

February 19, 2011

Gallery Tour of the 2011 Mid-Winter Exhibition

Photos from the 2011 Mid-Winter Exhibition are up! I'm also posting some nice photos David Welter, shop keeper and photographer extraordinaire, took of my cabinet. I promise these will be the last cabinet photos I post. Promise.

One Big, Dysfunctional Family

Being at College of the Redwoods for the year is an incredible experience. Not only do I get the opportunity to focus on the thing I love in a beautiful setting, I get to do it with a diverse group of people that share my passion. We work long hours and don't have much time to build lives outside of the classroom, so we've gelled into one big, at times dysfunctional, family. We have our ups and downs, but in the end we're there to support one another and enrich the experience that we're fortunate enough to share. 

"Cupid" left a valentine at each bench
Birthdays are celebrated with hats and cake

February 8, 2011

The Paparazzi (AKA my parents) Come to Town

My parents visited Fort Bragg over the weekend for the show. Fortunately for us, my normally impatient father had just bought a new camera, which kept him occupied for hours and hours and hundreds upon hundreds of photos. In good dad form, he couldn't stop taking pictures of me, even doing the most mundane things like sweeping the shop, talking to friends or climbing up a sand dune. The upside is the number of nice photos I have to show for it.

The reception had great turn-out, and it was fun to share our work with friends, family and the community. The gallery was so packed that  it was hard to appreciate the pieces, but that wasn't a problem for my parents because we had already visited the show twice. It's nice to have such supportive parents. 

Here are a few highlights from the weekend. 

The Shop
Fort Bragg at Dusk
Glass Beach
Glass Beach
Guest House Museum
The Reception

My Big Backyard

Piece of Wood for a Bowl

Noyo Harbor