By Doug Cox
This week was productive and satisfying. I spent good time with Bruce Berg going through the thought and design process on the side cabinet he is building exploring different ways to use wood properties, strategies using what we know of traditional construction practices, the meaning of furnishings in our homes and lives, and craftsmanship as a means and as an end. I tried to do a quick estimate of how many different flat surfaces there are in all the joints he is bringing together for this piece. These kinds of conversations are part of what make the Hatch valuable.
I mostly worked on the violin finishing the arch (exterior shaping) and the scroll. Both will need finishing touches over several revisits to the work with fresh eyes. I have the outline of the viola in almost finished shape again needing several revisits and refinement before I fit the purling, which should happen next Wednesday.
The blister or quilted maple Tom gave me for the violin works like a charm: smooth and even, pliant yet substantial. I feared the crazy figure would make cutting cleanly difficult, but not so.
Carving the arch is more sculpting than “woodworking” as usually understood at the Hatch. The process is like the magic of photographs take shape in the developer tray: big items taking shape from nothing, then details filling in to bring the shape and balance.
4:00 pm is when bad things happen. Sugar and caffeine can help, but better to plan safe and routine work.
Light is so important. Like all tools, there is no “right” light, just the light I am used to and have come to rely on for the rest of the way I work. The light where I have my bench is changing with the season.
Stop in for a conversation next Wednesday afternoon if you can.