Each year, as the Nine-month Comprehensive starts to wrap-up, the Current Student Work show in the Messler Gallery always astounds and inspires. The level of skill and creativity that the students achieve is simply overwhelming. As you can see, this year is no exception:
The Woodschool Blog
Walking through the Nine-month classroom I am reminded that there are many different ways to approach a design brief. In the last 5 weeks each student designed and built a furniture piece with curved elements. Collectively they have created a fine body of work which includes a lawyer’s standing desk, coffee and side tables, hall and sofa tables, a wall cabinet, and a gentleman’s valet. In addition to steam and laminate bending, students explored other curve-forming techniques like coopering and kerf cutting. I’m sure there is a mix of relief, satisfaction, and accomplishment when the wood bends without breaking, when the vacuum press closes before the glue sets, or when there is minimal spring back when the clamps come off the form.
The last four weeks of the Twelve-week Intensive are dedicated to curvature. With freedom from the confines of the straight line, students' design vocabulary become practically unlimited. However, with the gift of openness comes the dilemma of choice. Consequently, this final project requires a great deal of experimentation and editing. Curves add both conceptual and aesthetic complexity, and as such, students learn to be both proactive and reactive in their process.
With solid wood design and construction under their belts, the Nine-month Comprehensive students are now being introduced to a whole new world of design opportunity. Veneer allows us to create work which doesn't require accommodation for wood movement. The ability to work with veneer can expand a furniture maker's aesthetic vocabulary exponentially; however, like learning a new medium, such expansion requires an entirely new set of skills.
The Nine-month Comprehensive students have executed some really complex case work in the past couple of months. Here are some images of the finished (or nearly finished) pieces:
Another blog post about snow? Isn't this supposed to be a blog about a woodworking school, ergo a blog about woodworking? Well, yes. But the Center is located in midcoast Maine, and Maine is a place so saturated in its own singular identity that everyone and everything within its borders marinates in Mainelyness until his, her, or its very core is so inextricably tied to Maine, that to reside elsewhere would mean to exist as someone or something else entirely. Thus, this blog is about Maine as much as it is about wood.
November was a confusing month, with enough spikes and dips in the recorded temperature to look like a NASDAQ chart. But December has arrived, and in storybook fashion it has asserted the presence of winter with the first snow of the year.
More Articles ...
- Woodworking at the Maine State Prison
- Student Profile: meet Nine-month student Kevin Chen
- Projects in Progress: designing the case piece
- Around School: the Twelve-week Intensive
- Projects In Progress: the case piece
- Around Town: the Rockland breakwater
- Projects In Progress: finished tool cabinets
- Projects In Progress: the tool cabinet
- Student Profile: meet Nine-month student Cody Farmer
- Projects In Progress: tails, then pins