Written by Guest Blogger, Kyle Gardiner.
I have built chests for grandchildren Akira and Reiko to provide places for them to keep things precious to them. In Reiko’s case that would be things typical of a hope chest. A boy’s interests are necessarily different, and although Akira’s chest is identical, it was built with the vague notion that it would, with the addition of interior furnishings, perhaps be a tool box; maybe even for my tools some day. That would be a hopeful legacy. Or maybe, with suitable Kanji, a hope chest for some future generation.
Design ideas began with the hope chest I built for Mama Lynne in 1966. An improved design would be smaller, better proportioned, built of better materials and with better workmanship, embody finer construction details, and be more accommodating of expansion and contraction issues with wood. Designs were explored on the internet, and through publications. Particularly good examples were featured in a book entitled “Traditional Style Tool Chests” from the West Vancouver Library.
Dimensions evolved from comparisons of various chests to Lynne’s 1966 one, of finding pleasing proportions, and consideration that any chest should fit across the end of a single bed, be of a height comfortable to sit on, and maybe be serviceable as a coffee table.
We’re featuring three amazing artists this month:
His beautiful Alder island countertop was made for a client.
The guitars are both made of cherry (one is solid cherry, the other is a cherry top on MDF). The guitar with the bent strips of wood has strips of padouk, purpleheart, oak and poplar. The guitar with the wider inlaid pieces has pieces of walnut, bubinga, and western maple in it. The cutting board is eastern maple with strips of padouk and yellowheart.
Dining Room Table made from concrete, steel, aluminum, Douglas Fir
Architect Leith Anderson called me to help with the build of a fireplace wall feature seen in (PROJECT 1 – IMAGE 1). To complement a fireplace wall, I was also asked to design and build a dining table. On a day trip to Tofino, I drew inspiration from the location itself. The house is nestled on a cliff overlooking Rosie Bay and with spectacular views of the ocean. Like most West Coast homes, wood is a prominent material of choice and this home has no shortage of large fir beams with beautifully displayed joinery. The choice of Douglas Fir wood for the table was easy. The homeowners also collected native art. To represent water, I decided on metal to provide a shimmer on the table while also giving some contrast. My choice was to cast a floating concrete “tablet” in the center of the table. This tablet would then rest on a pair of concrete legs that anchor and proudly support the table. I commissioned native artist Mark Preston to provide authentic Native art work that I then incorporated into the table and fireplace.
Paul Fieldwick, teacher of Design and Technology at Halls Head Community College in Australia has given us an inside look at his curriculum and inspiring teaching style.
Here’s what he had to say about his student’s work:
Year 8 Wood and Materials Design
We are a typical government school in Western Australia catering for students from Years 8 – 12 (13 – 17 years old) when students join us we obviously start with the basics of measuring, marking out, hand skills, and of course safety. I tell the students that “machines do not have a conscious, they will not let go just because you are screaming in agony. They will keep spinning until part of you comes off” I usually follow this up with a couple of gory posters and stories of kids getting their hair caught in the drill press etc. My aim is to scare them so they do not get complacent.
Once the students have made a couple of simple projects, including using plastics, I then introduce the design skills of sketching in oblique and orthogonal (top view, front view, and side view). For their final project they are required to design and make a pencil holder using wood and plastic. Students are required to sketch and label their design, apply approximate dimensions, and complete a cutting list.
Did you know Jan is sponsoring Danny Schaftlein – our Milling Manager – for his Joinery apprenticeship? He has just completed his 3rd year at BCIT and found this year’s general focus to be on production methods, curved millwork, and drafting with AutoCAD. His personal project was a mirror frame incorporating laminated and solids curved parts. Can hardly wait to see the finished mirror once the glass is installed. He has maintained a 95% average over the past 3-years. We are very proud of him!!
He spent more time home on the weekends this year and became up close and personal with the BC Ferry schedule….or lack thereof ;-) He did say that there were more apprentices representing Victoria this year. Nice to see.
A Journey into Journeymanship.
Do you know what a Joiner is? A Joiner will layout, machine, assemble, install and finish products that are fabricated from wood, plastics and other materials. Many of these processes will combine conventional techniques with automated (CNC/CAD/CAM) procedures.
As an example, joiners work in these areas:
- Architectural Woodwork (Millwork)
- Commercial furnishings
- Residential furnishings
- Yacht interiors
- Specialty items
To become a certified journeyperson, you need to complete four years of apprenticeship training. Apprenticeship is a time-proven method of acquiring skills in the trade by combining technical in-school instruction with practical on-the-job training. Apprenticeship training is the best method for passing along trade skills from one generation to the next.
From the mouth of Danny:
“I’m looking forward to learning something new and spending time in the big city!”
Beyond acing his exams to date, Danny’s taken time to explore the Sloquet hot springs. Here are his thoughts: