Sunday, May 24, 2009

Back to MN, Planning

So my 9 months at IP are officially over and I already made the 2,200 mile trip back to the Minneapolis area. I already miss the Strait, mountains, creeks, and the bears of Roberts Creek. Also the groggy “good mornings” and “holas” of the beautiful bench room. Whether sun is pouring through or rain drizzling on the many windows a crackling sound accompanied by delicious smells can be heard as the local roasts are ground with a manual grinder. A great group of Craftspeople, I will and do miss them already. Perhaps I will meet them again down the road.
To all my bench mates; be well, please keep building, keep working and enjoy the work. I’m sure it wont be easy but lets try to hang in there. Share your work, start a blog, email me, whatever as it motivates me and I’m sure it works the same with many of us. Good luck to all where ever you end up… and invite me there! Heh.

Planning. One thing about those long drives is that you get lots of time to think whether you want it or not. I’d say about 1,100 miles were spent brainstorming what I was/am to do upon arrival. As it turns out I have much more work to do to get a decent shop-space set up than thought. I tried to think of places to get work shown and how to show it. Most of this time though was spent on a plan for a series of limited production pieces.
Whoa I know that sounds a little weird, and I wasn’t planning of attempting that for some more time. But hear me out. I WAS planning (after getting work space) a little box, then a display case, then we’ll see. Well I think I replaced “we’ll see” with table series and then put that ahead of the display case… perhaps heh.
I have rough plans for a style of table top and a system of legs that will hopefully prove quite versatile. The concept behind this is that I would like to try to “introduce” this style of work to a wider audience. I want to put in as much as what I might say is “my kind of work” … “krenovian” as possible while aiming at a more affordable price. I do NOT plan to skip out of quality. If I’m not building quality than I wont be building. The pieces will include mortise and tenon, and bridal joinery, emphasis on surface quality, pleasing subtle proportions, hand softened edges, attention to grain, and so on. The main “sacrifice” which I don’t even think is a sacrifice is that they will be more simply designed than my last works… but I guess that isn’t saying much because the last works were pretty complex. Also the kind of attention to grain of “true” krenov “style” I will have to tone down because the whole benefit of the runs of work is that you do set-ups once for 5 pieces. So if sizes and shapes slightly chain the efficiency of the work goes down the drain. Don’t get me wrong, I want to be doing and aim to do the “impractical” works, but I have reasons to do the run (not that I don’t want to do it).
Anywho High quality quiet work that will last in physical and aesthetic time. My hope is that I can do a coffee table around $2,000 or less, end tables and stands/pedestals under $1,000 (all gallery pricing), We’ll see if I get to console type tables.
I would also like to use these pieces in education of the audience to high craft (particularly our style of work) I envision a leaflet of sorts containing mainly images of the process. Not typical point and shoot low res stuff. It needs to also be of quality. Everything surrounding the work should represent/reinforce the same kind of quality of the actual work. You sometimes hear about woodworker’s (all craft/trade for that matter) meager romantic lives surrounding a labor of love. Well I don’t think the actual process is celebrated in the same way and I certainly haven’t SEEN it except in some of these blogs. Connection between the worker and the client should be key in these kind of works.
Oh I just remembered you see some of it in Thomas Moser’s book… workers with orbital and spindle sanders wearing dust masks and such heh.

Ah I have too many thoughts about all of this that are difficult to articulate with them all whizzing around. SO maybe there will be more on it latter.

1 comment:

johnjoiner said...

Nice post Nicholas.

One place you can get a little exposure is at the Northern Woods Show each spring. (For full disclosure, I'm on the board.) Below is a photo gallery of this year's award winners. It would be great to see one of your pieces in the show next year.