Saturday, March 31, 2007

Reporting back

Well I told you all that I was going to be on local radio, and I was. To be honest that's all there really is about that. It is a really small station that is run completely by volunteers. So that should tell about the size of the listening audience. But it was a fun experience. The DJ was really cheesy, but you really can't expect anything less. When I say cheesy I mean the type of guy that is volunteering to do this but takes the job way to seriously. Anyways it was a lot of fun. Who knows maybe it'll be something that I'll have to do more of some day. Man would that be great.

Anyways, as for news for the school front. Not much happening between now and Easter. Our next unit is the chair unit which will be taught by a guy named Evan Dunston. So that will be good. Right now we are trying to do things that will help us for our end if the year exhibition. Yesterday a couple of men needed some timber milled down, so they brought it in and rented the shop and 4 guys at 60 dollars an hour per man. So we made about 800 dollars toward our exhibition. Also Simon received a called from a man in Hobart that is looking to have 2 doors made for a children's wing of the hospital. He thinks that he can find about 5,000 dollars in there budget to do it with. So hopefully that will come about.

Also I am going to be sending in an application to be in a juried exhibition down in Hobart. The application needs to be in by the 20th of April. The exhibition isn't until June I think. But there is a first prize on 7,000 dollars, man would that be nice. Also your piece gets acquired into the permanent collection. I'll let you all know more about that when it gets closer. I am thinking of entering my stools.

Here are a couple of pictures from our school exhibition. I haven't spoken to any of my fellow students yet. So these are pictures of stuff that I know those who made them won't mind them on here. Please to be enjoying...

Lights by Freeman Cumbie-Wall. Very interesting design that I truly think is going to take off. The light is a mode light that puts a very interesting pattern on the ceiling.

Kevin McMullin's coffee table. This is also an interesting design. There were quick a few problems in the making of this table, as one might imagine. He only got this one done. The other one that he was planning to make wouldn't make the bend.

I am currently working on building my own website. This is because we are forced to take some elective classes at the Uni each semster. I choose to take web page design. So I am looking to come up with a creative new business name. I am playing with a few right now: FOURoneFiVE DesIgns is one, ONO Design is another, K2 Designs is another. fouronefive is my son's birthday, ONO is the hawaiian word for good or tasty, and K2 stands for the first letters in my first and last name (Kaleo Kala). If you have any creative suggestions let me know.

Until next time all.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Any Press is Good Press!!

So I told you that we had some local press come to the show. Unfortunately the local news didn't make it. But the local paper did. And even though the article mention nothing about me, they did include a picture of me and my stools.

Also tomorrow I will be interviewed with our Director on a local radio show. I also found out that the Design Centre, which is a local gallery here in Launceston. But they are a prestigious gallery here in Australia. They are interested in displaying my stools. So it has been really good this last week. I'll let you all know how it all goes. Sorry it is a short one this time. Later.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Production '07

So today was the exhibition and it went really well. There is so much work involved
behind the senses to pull something like this off. This last week has been crazy. I finished my stools on Tuesday. Then I spent all day Wednesday painting the stands for every ones stuff. Thursday I spent part of the day finishing the painting, and the other part of the day doing our assessment presentation. Friday morning or this morning was spent setting up the lights and laying out the floor plan and getting everything together. And being 1 of 3 students that were completely done, I gave a hand to get all this done.

So it all went really well. I've decided to call my stools "Nalu" which is the Hawaiian word for wave. I named it that because for the shape of the seat. But also for the fact that the ocean is strong yet full of mystery. I think my stool is the same in that fact. Very strong but full of mystery. People really responded to my stools. Everyone stopped and looked and tried to understand how it works. It was good to get real feedback from people other than other furniture buffs. Just your everyday person telling me what they think about my design and building.

So here are some pictures of my display. I will post pictures of other students work once I ask them if it is ok.

The television station never showed up. But the local newspaper did, and they only took one picture and that was of me and my stools. So we'll see if I make the paper tomorrow. If so I will scan in the picture and the story later.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Final Pics before the show

Well I finished the stools today. With one whole day to spare is nice. I only have one coat of oil on the stools. So they still need a few more coats, but that will happen over the next 3 days. So I will get at least 3 coats on before the exhibition.

If you can't tell I decided to go with a whole seat instead of a slated one. There is a good reason for that. First, I really like it this way. But the main reason is that I found that the slats were not that strong. The seat together is pretty strong, not as strong as I would like it to be. So future seats there will be some changes. But the seat right now holds me. So that should be good enough for the exhibition.

They have come out better than I imagined. I really like these stools, I hope they do well.

We had a great time in Hobart over the weekend. They have a great market on Saturday. So we spent the day down by the sea and went to all the little shops and stalls. I got to go to all the major galleries and look at the furniture in them. It always gives me hope seeing what is in these galleries. The quality is not the best. If those guys can get in them, I can get in them.

As for the wood show, it was small. It took about 15 minutes to walk around the show. I spent about 45 minutes looking at things. There wasn't anything really good there to talk about.

Well that's about it. The exhibition is on Friday and after that we have 2 weeks with no instructor. So that means cleaning up the bench area and maybe doing something small and quick. We'll see.

I'll take some pictures of the exhibition and post them, along with some nice pictures of my stool with a better back drop. By the way I am trying to think of a name for my stools, if you have any suggestions please email them to me at


Thursday, March 15, 2007

One week to go!

Well there is one week left to get all the stools done and ready for our exhibition. So the pressure is on. And to put more pressure on myself, I've decided to go to the wood show in Hobart for the weekend. So tomorrow morning (Friday) I have my Uni class in the morning. Which is a web design class. And I have to say that I love that class. I think it has to do with all the design stuff I am learning here. But the coolest thing that I think the class is offering my is, that not only do I design all the content (i.e. I design all the furniture and make it) I also design and control the way in which it will be viewed on the Internet. So be on the look out with in the next couple of months for fouronefive designs website. (at least that's what I am calling my potential company right now.)

But where was I, after that class in the morning I will have a couple of hours before we leave for Hobart. It's a 2 hour drive down there. I know what you are thinking " 2 hours that's nothing." You are right normally. But he in Tasmania with little one lane roads and tons of road kill and the most curved roads you will even see, the trip is not that fun. So we are going to stay there for the weekend.

But then that leaves me Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to finish. Because are suppose to present on Thursday and prepare for the exhibition. Also the National new team is in town that day and are going to come and due a piece on us. So I might get on Australian TV. Wooo Hooo.

But as of right now things are looking good. I have all my timber ready and at it's final dimensions. I have cut all the joinery. All I have to do is assemble the frames and glue them up. Then I have to laminate the seat with some nice bending ply and saddle leather on top. Then cut them into slats and attach them to the stool. I am pretty confident that I will get the set of four done, and hopefully one extra in a different timber also. We shall see.

Please to be enjoying some pictures.

Picture 1: This is my bench at the moment. Full of all the parts to my 4 stools.

Picture 2: One of the stools that I have already glued the side frames together to test strength again. This is because I have thinned the entire stool. Originally the uprights of the frame where 80 mm wide. ( alittle over 3 inches ). Now all the pieces to the outside frames are 55 mm wide ( 2 inches). So I wanted to make sure the that they would be strong enough. And they are, believe me.

Picture 3: Just a different view of the stool. The slats on this stool are made form MDF just to so me what they are going to look like.

Anyways, have a great weekend and play nice.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Who says there's no evolution...

Well this past week was a really good week. It ended with some final design decisions on the Cantilever Stool. I guess at the moment that is what I am calling. Only because I have yet thought of a better name. But as soon as I do I will rename it. This stool has evolved from a stool with arms and a back, to a chair and then back to a stool without the arms and back. As my instructor said it, " your design has evolved more than any other in the group." He's told me that I have bitten off the biggest bit in the class, by attempting to build seating in this unit. So I took that as a compliment since he really likes my design.

I guess some of the major changes that have about about are: I have raised the seat to about 610 mm which translates to about 24 inch's. The stool is a kitchen stool rather than a bar stool. I also shortened the width of the stool from 440 mm to about 410mm. I know that doesn't sound like much but that about 1 1/2 inches. I also had to add a foot rest. This was the hardest thing for me to do. Because to this point I have been resisting doing this. I was resisting more for designs sake than anything else. But once I made a full size prototype, and saw that the stool racks from side to side alot, I knew that I needed something that would stabilize it. Once I added the foot rest all the rack disappeared. Which is really good, because I think that this stool visually give you the appearance that it will not be stable. So the last thing that I need is for not to be. But now it is solid as a rock.

But being the minimalist that I have become, by adding one thing I had to get rid of something. So the bottom back foot bar, that ran between and connected the bottom feet at the back is now gone. Which from a design aspect is great. Because that bar across the floor really grounded the piece and made it look really heavy. I have also decided to make a special bracket that connects the slats to the seat, but gives the impression that the seat or slats are floating above the frame.

So starting tomorrow I have until Thursday of the following week to produce at least 3 of these stools. My goal is to make a set of 4 of them. And also to try to make one other one in a different timber so one can see them in different timbers. So I hope to get them all done. I am rather confident that I will get at least the 3 stools done. But wish me luck anyways. I'll post some progression pictures during the week when they become available. I am heading down to Hobart ( the capital of Tasmania) this upcoming weekend for the regional wood show. I'll let you all know how that goes also. So until then, from the inspired words of one of my classmates, " I made it alittle bit bigger, or it will be to small." So simple, why didn't I think of that.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Smiling from ear to ear!

I know that I said that I was going to try and update this every week. I apologize for the fact I haven't been very good at it. But I promise to be better. Especially since I found that Fine Woodworking's website has put a link to my blog on there site. So first I would like to thank Fine Woodworking for doing that. I hope that I can help inspire others to follow there dreams.

I have to be honest, this evening I went out to dinner with a guy named Chris that I met on a Australian woodworking forum. He was the one that told me that Fine Woodworking had put a link to my blog up. I haven't stopped smiling yet, thanks Chris!

So where am I with my latest projects. Well right in the middle of things. The class has voted and I will be making my bar stools for this unit. Which I am very pleased about. But the design has evolve greatly since I last posted. I have gotten rid of the back rest and arms. It was becoming to much of a chair. I have lowered it so that you won't need a foot rest. I also plan to laminate some slats, so that they curve down in the front ( making it easy to get out of ) and curve up in the back ( so you know when you have gone to far back ). But I also plan to laminate a really nice thick piece of leather on top of each slat. I think this will give it a really nice and elegant look.

I plan on putting a nice curve in the front legs, because they are being made really wide. And I don't want them to look chunky. So I feel that putting the curve in them removes a lot of the size, but gives me enough meat at the finger joints where it will be needed. Also I'm going to curve the top and bottom arms. But the curve will start out at 60mm wide and then curve up and through to a 20mm wide section. So the curve will flow through and not come back on the ends. (like the pictures show).
I will be making an actual prototype hopefully by Wednesday.

Other than that things are flat out here. We have about 3 weeks to make all the jigs and produce at least 3 of everything. I hope to make 1 set of 4 stools all the same. And then make just 1 stool different. I plan on using celery top pine for the set, which is a very blond almost white timber. And then have either a nice dark brown leather or a jet black piece of leather. The the one extra stool, I want to make in Tasmanian Blackwood. I will use the same leather for that one. I just want to be able to give people a choice and a visual of the same stool in different timbers.

I had a discussion with on of my fellow students today. He's a really good kid, but he is an 18 year old kid. He was complaining about the timetables for this project that we are doing. Telling me that it is impossible to get these things done with the time that we have. And that why should he even try when he knows he's going to fail. I felt so sad for him and this thought process. I know that it is a valid defense, but I guess I have never felt that way before. So I guess my little fortune cookie message for you all is this.

"By trying you either succeed or fail, by not trying you just fail". And personally I would rather fail trying then just fail.

By the way if you like that little saying it's mine so don't forget to quote me. I hope to get some more pictures up soon of my final prototype. Until then.