As I mentioned in a previous post, the toolworks has been shut down for a couple of weeks now. This is a nice break, as it allows me to catch up on a LOT of things that have been pushed aside for the last year or so. One of those, for instance, is updating this blog (lucky, lucky you, dear reader). Another one is that I finally managed to squeeze in some time for my first love – bona fide furnituremaking. Specifically, I finally managed to finish a piece that I designed and started work on almost a year ago, and which has been at the top of my ‘yeah – I’ll get right on that’ list ever since.
The backstory is that last year about this time, my friend (and moulding planemaker extraordinaire) Matt Bickford and I decided to share a booth at the Northeast Woodworker’s Association show in Saratoga Springs. He also mentioned that his friends Don and Chris Boule had issued a challenge to him to build a piece for the show. When he told me this, I immediately jumped at the excuse to make some furniture.
To make a long story short, Matt decided to make a Queen Anne table, and I decided to work out a small cabinet with kumiko pattern sliding doors. We were both really excited and pleased at the prospect of stealing some time away from toolmaking to get back to building a little furniture. Ahh, the folly of youth.
Three months later, when we arrived at the show, Matt had finished something like two of the legs for his table, and I had finished one of the two doors for my cabinet. Here are some links to the absolutely stunning (and fully completed) pieces that Don Boule and Chris Boule brought.
So yes – it was a slightly extended build. But I do take consolation from having actually finished it in (just barely) under a year. So I got that going for me. As for Matt’s table… well, you’ll have to ask him about that.
As a side note – for those of you interested in this sort of decorative kumiko work, I cannot recommend Des King’s outstanding website highly enough. Des trained in traditional methods for shoji and kumiko in Japan and has since returned to his native Australia and set up shop. His website is an amazing source of information and inspiration, and provides a unique English-language picture of just how intricate and beautiful this sort of work can be.