Sunday, June 28, 2020

Advancing toward the Metaphor

Had a little family gathering last night up at Nephew Will's crystal garden place in the Berkeley hills and was saying to Taylor I was going to take her piece to a certain point but would have to set it aside for another project.
She said, "So, it's going to be another 7 years?"  Had a good laugh at that one.

The carcass will be mitered but the miters will be truncated pretty heavily so for strength I inlayed some finger joints.  These are just sitting there before glue.
A slight dry fit to see if it's going to go.
Thin spacers (.045") on the drawers so I can mark the proper distance of the runners on the carcass side.
The drawers in cross communion while the carcass is glued.

Carcass in clamps on the right this morning.
Drawers roughly fitted.  And the metaphor for the piece starts to take some physical presence.  Explanation to follow when it's completed.

And this is where it will sit until I finish up something else.

Bonus pic!
Last jam night with the random horizon shadows down the side

Monday, June 22, 2020


This is one of those projects that started with pages and pages of sketches and hours and hours of thought.
I started making it with great gusto.

Maybe 6 years ago.  Maybe 8.

And something got in the way, probably had to do with someone wanting me to do something for some money and then another thing came along and another.   I moved and took the various pieces with me and still it sat.

Wrote a bit about it here.  Correction, I see now it was 7 years ago.  I've given up on the idea of twisting it, way too hard and I'm not sure if I could do it to begin with.

Looks like I'll need to do another trip out to see my wood sensei for one more signature piece of something.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Medium Format shoots Large Format

A primary Studio Manifesto of mine.
Keep it fluid.
Put it on wheels.
Try not to make it permanent.

For the past three weeks, the only thing that hasn't been moved in the studio is the table saw, the liquor cabinet and kitchen stove.

I named this restaurant Large Format in my head to keep on point messaging wise while I built the photo.
Going back to another of the early mantras that was pounded into the head at photo school was...
"You don't take a photograph, you make a photograph."

And this is why I love studio work.  Every single thing within the format is on purpose, every color, every shaft of light, every prop.
You build it.

To non wine folks, Large Formats refer to oversize wine bottles.  I included a quantity of Large Format bottles in the shot but I also used it conceptually with large rough textures and other big elements.

The kitchen taken apart so I could shoot across that space.

Of note is oh maybe a hundred napkins in the foreground of every color and print that has been amassed over the decades.

I'm particularly smitten with myself on the solution of flipping over a dragon because this "table" needed a base.
You don't take it, you make it.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Making It Come to Me

At least for the moment, there's no gathering in restaurants.  One of life's real treasures, sharing of food and drink made by someone else.  But that's just not possible right now so I built my own.
It's a pop up, it went up yesterday, coming down today.
Since I can't have knowledge of how much knowledge you have, I'll briefly explain some salient points in the photo above.
The black silhouette in the middle is the camera which is tethered ( here by a physical wire) to the computer (on the left) which allows for near instant relay to the big screen after the exposure.  So much better to work like this where you can see it large.  Many of the movements that happen in commercial photography are small and they are much easier to see when the image is big.

The front table and chairs have been raised up, this was done for the perspective relationship of the camera height, the wine bottle and elements in the rear.

The front hanging lamp is actually behind the table, it worked better visually.  The front strobe did most of the heavy lifting as far as lighting the table.

A new client from right down the street.  High end chocolate in various forms.  Since he's somewhat small, I take most of the payment in product.  Here, close to ten pounds of the pure stuff and some of the small bites.
He does his own Photoshop to keep his cost down so disregard the state of surface on the small bites.

Saturday, May 9, 2020


Bézier Curves

Seems they're all around at the moment.
The new climbing rose needed some more lash points than the straight lines I put up earlier.  I thought I could metaphorically introduce nature by adding some organic twisty things by doing it this way.
Glued up these curves using the centuries old hide glue and rubbing of the joint method to build up the shape.  No clamps.  Freedom I tell you.
And last night for the first time in two month, we got together to get twisty as we curved our way through freeform jam.  That's Jules' head behind the bottle of Ouzo by the way.  Don't want him to get lost in the clutter of photo.
Yes, more than 6' apart.
Ouzo you say?  Yes Ouzo.

Bonus Bézier reference.
The left over tapers from the ellipse project.  That large round object in the middle, by the way, is from a Chevron grease shoot from the early 90's.  It a roller bearing from a very large engine.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Ellipse Empiricism

Spent some hours trying to figure out if I could figure this out with math.  I could not.
The several ellipses I'm building are to have the wood oriented pointing somewhat toward the center point.  It would be easy to do the arithmetic of the angles needed if the arc was a portion of a circle but an ellipse is way above my pay grade to calculate.

So I did it like anybody with a pencil and a straight edge would do it.  Laid out the wood and sort of made lines until it looked about right and cut each angle by eye so to speak.

Thought I would do the old big/small configuration.  A large piece followed by a narrower wedge followed by a large.  I think it was a real nice solution.  I also think it will play well with what Ken has planned for the front of the cabinet.  Laid out the large ones somewhat pointing toward center, placed narrower piece on top and eyeballed where to draw a pencil line.
You can also see a contraption Mike made to draw the correct ellipse(s).

First three pieces cut and fitted.

Then took the marked up wood over to my interpretation of a taper jig.  Since I have a large sliding table, the jig rides on that.  Most jigs I've seen slide against the fence of the saw.
Here's the jig with a marked up piece of walnut in it.  I can vary the angle with the arm that rotates.  The square of plywood that's against the fence accomplished two things.  One is since it's parallel to the blade I rotate the arm until the pencil line is aligned with the inside edge of the plywood.  The plywood also sits exactly inline with where the blade will cut so I slide the jig left or right until my cut line is under the plywood.

One of the narrower tapers.

Went very well, even had time to bake some bread.
I'll glue up tomorrow and somehow take it over to Ken's to see how it fits on the counter.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Covid Production

The decision was made to have Ken host the various elements of the lobby build-out.  Mike brought in the elliptical front counter so we could fit our parts to it.

By the way, please check out Robin's stunning beeswax and string art you can see here on the walls.
Mike decked out in approved coverings.
Ken, not so much.
Mike demonstrating to me a drawing jig he made so I could draw the same ellipse he did.  Ken apparently digging out a splinter!!!!!
The production schedule for install has been waylayed and not because of the Virus.  Legs and whatnot waiting.
Ken asks me if I've seen his upstairs.....well, yes of course.  He takes me upstairs anyway to see how all the other things are being stored pending the schedule opening up.

One of the interesting things about this shot is how Ken constructed the bed in situ and how the roof truss goes through the bed.