Thursday, September 11, 2008

Under wraps...

These past four weeks I have been working on two new pieces of furniture. The first is intended for a gallery exhibition and the second to be entered in an upcoming local furniture exhibition. Unfortunately I will not be able to share the design and build of both these pieces for a while. The second piece intended for the exhibition, is essentially under wraps as all entries need to be in and judged by a certain date. I can say that I am really enjoying creating these two pieces as they are purely on built on speculation and I therefore have complete carte blanche on what I make.

Once I have completed these two pieces I will continue with the beech cabinet on stand which is currently on the back burner. I would estimate I can continue my work on the cabinet on stand in the first week of October. The two pieces I am working on are purposely not very large so I can instead focus on some extra detail I can hopefully incorporate into the design. Sometimes we need to take a leap forward and move into uncharted design territory to be able to add new skill sets and techniques to our furniture making repertoire. We need to regularly challenge ourselves. Wood selection has been a bit of a challenge lately as I have a difficult time locating wood with nice grain and good graphics. Most of what I find is suitable for cabinet work and not so much for fine furniture. Veneering becomes more of a viable option to circumvent this issue. Once I have boards with ideal grain pattern, graphics or figure in my hands I can simply slice veneers from it to use as components of furniture I am creating.


Paul Kierstead said...

I dunno Norm, that piece looks pretty blocky :)

You really might want to consider buying veneer outright. The quality of high quality veneers is quite stunning; it is quite clear that most of the top-notch logs go to veneer. Some vendors offer pictures of specific batches now. Even "basic" woods tend to be much better; you can get extremely wonderful cherry veneer that, to get solid wood in, would have about 1% yield.

Norman Pirollo said...

Hi Paul,

True, there is an abundance of commercial veneer out there and it is nice, but I much prefer to resaw my own veneers. They are thicker and a veneered surface with a 3/32 veneer can be worked as a solid surface with reasonable success. Commercial veneers are so thin , once they are applied it is essentially a done deal, what you see is what you get with considerably less room to err, no safety margin, etc.

In cases where an exceptionally figured veneer is necessary or designed in, then I would not hesitate to use a commercial veneer simply because it might be the only option.


Paul Kierstead said...

All design (and material selection) is restrained by process. I think this is an interesting area of examination; the relationship between process and output, and the how they influence each other. I think an excessively results oriented approach (eg early Norm, most commercial furniture) can actually compromise the result. The interesting question comes in judging where process should drive the result and where the result should drive the process. Mind you, sometimes I do process just because I like the process; this is largely the pleasure of being an amateur (and one of the primary reasons I am resolute in staying that way).

Paul Kierstead said...

Err, that "early Norm" wasn't referring to you, just in case there was any question. That is THE Norm.