Sunday, January 29, 2006
FULL STEAM AHEAD
The traditional greenwood chairmaking course is now into its second weekend. The participants all say it is incredibly absorbing, but it has also been fascinating for those of us who have called in to view the progress.
Yesterday, they began to shape the seats, using Norfolk pine. The first picture shows a student hollowing out the recess for buttocks and thighs using an adze. After this the shaping will be further refined using an "in-shave." This is one of the few areas where they will be encouraged to do a little sanding to finish off..after all, splinters are no fun for the modern bum!
In the second picture, lengths of timber(guava) were being bent, using steam, to form the back support of the chair. The photo shows the steambox behind, connected to a "geyser" beneath, improvised from a 44 gallon drum. In the foreground, Charles is clamping the bent timber to the horseshoe shaped mould.
In the third picture, everyone is enjoying afternoon smoko.....with tea and coffee made from an electric kettle!! This would be about the only concession to mod cons during the course. All the rest is muscle power and sharp tools, coupled with improvisation and ingenuity. You can see a couple of finished chairs in the picture.
Next weekend, it will all come together. I will keep you posted!