My 3rd an 4th semesters in the fine woodworking program I took classes in table construction , chair making, design, production techniques and architectural woodwork.
Many of the pieces I created I no longer have nor have pictures of. The two pieces that I do however still own are from my table making class.
I chose to make two coffee tables to utilize techniques and joinery learned over the semester as well as techniques from other classes
The first piece was insecTABLE made out of mahogany.
As I thought of creative designs the concept of taking the traditional four leg table, flipping it upside down and adding a ridiculous amount of legs.
At some point the concept of a giant dead bug on it's back emerged. It was a good opportunity to utilize woodturning and steam bending techniques that I was learning about.
Each leg was turned unique to itself as I also saw the legs as a crowd of people engaged in various conversation.
I first turned the body on the lathe using a technique Mark was well known for called "off center" turning out of 4" thick mahogany. By offsetting the wood from exact center on the lathe you can create asymmetrical forms like the oval body on this work.
I also use the turning gouge and with a sharp point to rip against the grain creating the fuzzy look on the ends.
I then turned the legs on the lathe much like the typical spindles you would see in chairs and railings but gave each one a unique identity.
I then created a simple jig of a portable electric stove burner with a tea kettle filled with water that boiled steam into a 4" wide PVC pipe. I placed the turned spindles into the pipe relaxing the natural glue cells in the wood making them able to bend in curved jigs I created.
My sister suggested I call it insecTABLE and who can really argue with that name.
The second piece was called Big City Dream based of a poem I wrote.
It featured a wood from Australia called Lacewood for the panels with tiger maple rails/ mahogany legs with maple, bent maple intertwined on the inside.
I once again wanted to employ non traditional legs that had volume and designed the curved and tapered V sections of the legs with ebonize maple rings creating a unique sculpted look.
The panels for this piece were turned on the lathe to create portholes. It was definitely a little scary and dangerous to be turning the sections out of balance.
At the time I was taking a production techniques class creating acoustic guitars and learning how to steam bend the sides of the guitars.
It was challenging at first to try not to crack the thin the wood bending it to shape so I started creating more abstract bends to work on technique . I utilized it to create a sculptural element to the center of the table as it represented the captured energy of a city.
I was awarded the core 10 award for both works at the student exhibition that year