Friday, April 8, 2016

It's all mine and you can't have it. I needed a special dresser to fit my cozy apartment bedroom so since I rarely ever make anything for myself, I took a hiatus and spent the winter testing the limits of my shop and skills. If enduring the cold shop making both me and the wood shiver wasn't the hardest part, then it might have been re-gluing the stubborn Ipe (aka Iron Wood aka Brazilian Walnut) and non-porous composite boards. These materials turned out to be every bit as beautiful as they are stubborn. Once the drawers were set into the Ambrosia Maple frame, the color contrast warmed my heart and made this project worth stressing over. The level of anxiety I felt when I wasn't able to work on this piece was something that I had never experienced during my short time as a maker. I apologize to all who endured my divided attention and absence during the making of this dresser. It is one of my favorite personal creations and now I am twice as pleased when it comes time to put on a clean pair of underwear.

Chest of drawers, 28"x18.5"x48", Salvaged Ambrosia Maple, Ipe, Salvaged Poplar composite, Spalted Beach

The Ambrosia Maple frame is lap-jointed and joined with an Ipe through- wedge tenon.

Full view drawers made from tongue and groove (T&G) Ipe and salvaged Poplar composite T&G flooring. The drawers slide on Ipe rails.

Spalted Beach handles. This was the first fitting of the drawers.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

When faced with the challenge of creating a unique, no-guidelines coffee table for a client's parents I knew very little about, I found myself doing lots of brainstorming and daydreaming. The only parameter was a bucket of seashells, found on the beach by the customer's grand children, which they wanted to somehow include. This in itself posed a major dilemma - were they expecting the chintzy, cliche beach-house look with hot-glued seashells? I cringed just considering selling out to that style. My work is nothing like that, and not knowing anything else about the client and their taste, I was tasked with creating something I liked and they would love with no input. So I put together an ocean-floor, a live edge Butternut slab, and a boardwalk base. Trusting my own ideas and craftsmanship turned out to be so successful the client had a hard time gifting it and not keeping it for themselves.
Shell Coffee Table, 46"x 22"x 18" butternut slab, salvaged pine, jingle shells, epoxy resin

Industrial shelving that when deconstructed would be the base of the table
The ends of this table were meticulously fit to combine the two sides of the Butternut slab after I split it down the middle, making a wider table top


Look closely at the shelves and you can see one of my first wood art pieces, but thats not what I'm here to talk about. For this project I had another chance to work with my long-time friends and patrons, who over the years have filled their home with my work and constantly put their faith in my hands. For this project the Gannons wanted 5, "rustic looking," cabinet doors to cover the open spaces under their shelving unit. With this instruction, some lath, and a bit of rope, the completed project left the whole family so happy that they asked for my next project to be a large dining room table. Yes please!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Dining Room Table and Bench
I am so grateful to have a customer, rather a patron, that is so trusting in my craft and design that he and his wife give me free range to create furniture for them. This last build was a bit tricky. I stayed true to using salvaged material, in this case a variety of soft woods, where I pushed the limit of their own structural strength. I had great intentions with my initial design but they wer
e subdued by the physical attributes of the wood, the wood had intentions of it's own. In order to complete this build I had many conversations with the table; "where is the stress," "do you think this fits you well," "how will you set yourself apart from the others" (my doctor says it's perfectly healthy)? After spending countless hours of work, well past the hours that my day jobs timecard was clocked out, we came to an agreement. Before you is a photo of my last project, a kitchen table with it's matching bench. It's really a great feeling to create something that will be appreciated and utilized all throughout the day, shared at holidays, and last for years to come. Thank you to those of you who love my work as much as I love making it.

Reclaimed soft woods, Table 66"x50"x30", Bench 15"x48"x17"

Friday, May 8, 2015

 Winter, the time of year when days shrink and shiver, when the cold pokes your bones and chills your eyes. Simple tasks seem to double in difficulty as we are taunted by the brighter days of Spring and the fluidity of warm movements. 
 Winter 2015 was a time of change for me. I moved away from Philadelphia to Bucks County in pursuit of a job (jobs) more relevant to my future plans. I moved in with my lovely girlfriend, Maddy, and together we warmed each other with talks of our future adventures and aspirations. 
The move back to suburbia was a calculated risk, I knew that I didn't have work lined up, that I would be far away from my wood shop and that the short, cold days of winter would make figuring all of this out more difficult.  I knew what I had was good but I wanted something better. I have to thank my two employers who helped to make the transition both a fun and educational experience; Mary Jane Martin of The Artist Cellar (Yardley, PA) where I work as a painting instructor for her BYOB paint and sip studio and Christyl Cusworth, a Paintings Conservator, who I assisted for in Lambertville NJ.
Today I sit here, in my sun warmed and breezy apartment in Newtown PA reflecting on this transition and how I came to accumulate things like a job at Nakashima Woodworkers, 2 cats, a funky green couch, and a beautiful girlfriend to share it all with. 
Below are some photos of projects and doodles I did this past winter.
United By Blue Coffee show in Old City Philadelpia

Pencil drawing on paper of an overgrown dog
Pencil drawing on paper
Pencil on paper study of pods on a branch


Oil on Canvas -Work in progress 
I free hand cut this straight line 4' but forgot to check my blade depth :(
Mushroom Inlay on live edge piece of Cherry. 
Cedar bench with removable lid for fire wood storage.

"The Velvet Slipper" of Indian Walk comissioned this sign to hang on the outside of their storefront. 4'x5' 
Oragnnons and The Velvet Slipper sings hanging side by side. It was a pleasure making both of these. The positive comments and local support have made these projects some of my favorites.
Hanging Mail Organizer made from salvaged wood.

"It doesn't have to be perfect" 38"x12.5" salvaged wood wall art

Thursday, January 15, 2015

 For this post I put together photos of some recent pieces as well as ones of older works that I had posted on my Instagram account.

Commissioned coffee table/chest 45"x 36" 

Detail of the table lid with a rope and charm handle.
Storage Bench - SOLD
 Gifts for some of the great people who gave me shelter during my road trip.
Commissioned wall mounted succulent planter made from pallet wood

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Along with my lap joint frame design this piece also incorporates a functional storage compartment with a lid accessible from the bench's/table's top. I explored a different handle option by mounting a rope with some decorative charms and a wooden screwdriver end. The angular patterns allow the eye to scan the pieces entirely with no true focal point.

Yin Yang- 26"x28" Salvaged lath, wall mounted panel 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Practicing on my worry board - Wood Inlay- Sycamore, Silver Maple, and Mahogany, on Rock Maple

Salvage wood art in progress. Its very a very meditative process of design and application. What I have so far as a YinYang interpretation. Stay tuned in for eh finished product!