Saturday, April 28, 2007

What a week

Well this week is finally over. I don't know what the problem with me has been. But this unit has not been interesting to me. Right now I am trying to design a chair. Our instructor is really good. I think that he hoped we would all do dining chairs. But I have decided to design a lounge chair. But I have had almost no inspiration at all. I have a cool design, at least I think it's cool. But it doesn't sing to me, I'm definitely not in love with this design. At least not yet.

I spent the week building a full size mock-up. That has not been fun. Nothing was working as I thought it would. The design didn't look like I imagined it. But yesterday I think I had a good win. Things finally came together.

The chair is very geometrical. It's made up of triangle shapes. I like to think it's a very modern interpretation of a Morris chair. I hope it to be as inviting and comfortable as a Morris chair. I will take a few pictures of the mock up next week. We have to start building this thing soon. The chair has to be completed by the 18th of May. So there is a lot of work to be done. I'll let you all know how it goes.

I have put a Hit counter and a Hit Map at the bottom of the page. I have been pleasantly surprised with the amount of readers and where you all are from. Although the map doesn't tell me where you are specifically. I would love you all to tell me where you are and what you think of the blog. And ways that I might improve and make it better. Let me know what you think. Leave me a comment or continue to email me.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Back in full swing..

Sorry that it has been so long since I have posted something. This last week has just been crazy. Our new instructor arrived on Monday, his name is Evan Dunstone. He is a designer maker from Canberra. You can see his stuff on . He is a well of knowledge on all thing wood related. I have never met someone that has an answer to almost any questions about wood that you could have. He is a master at choosing and accentuating grain and it's direction.

So he is here for our chair unit. Which for me is getting off to a slow start. I am having a real hard time with this unit so far. Nothing is inspiring me, none of my drawing have just jump out and said make me. But I have a few good ideas, that I might just have to develop. I have until Monday to get something designed and resolved. So it's going to be a long weekend.

I also spent a lot of time this week putting together my Resume and Artist statement and some photos for the juried competition in June. Only one other person besides myself entered from our class. I was surprised that no one else did. But that's OK by my. I also am getting some things ready to send to Fine Woodworking. They are doing a readers gallery issue all about students and there work. So I have to get another CD ready of images. That has to be in early next month.

Other than that nothing new to report. I hope to get a mock up of my chair built soon. Then I will post some pictures of it. Until then be good all.

Friday, April 13, 2007

It's official..

Well today it became official. I delivered my stools to The Design Centre. And they will be officially displayed as of Monday. I have to say that this is a pretty cool feeling. I know that it will be even cooler when they sell.(if they sell) But you know what as cool as it would be, hey if they never sell at least I can now say I have a piece displayed at a major gallery. My Resume now reads Kaleo Kala with pieces displayed in The Design Centre Gallery in Australia. I guess I should put Tasmania, but man Australia looks and sounds much cooler.

I spent the day making my own plywood out of veneers for some more seats for more stools. I guess I am being a little optimistic, just in case. Also I took some nice photos with the back drop down. I am getting everything together to get my application in for this juried exhibition in Hobart. The application has to be in by next Friday, or as the say here in Australia Friday week.

Anyways for those of you that have asked to be signed up for the email alerts please let me know if they work. Some of you I just signed up because I thought you wouldn't mind and anyways your friends and I don't care if you don't want to read my blog, read it anyways. I would read yours if you all had one.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Some new features

I've thought of adding a few new features to this blog.

They are these:

Google Ads on the side bar
The Stat Counter
Ability for readers to receive an email when a new post is written

Let me know what you think. As you can tell at the bottom of the page I have already added the stat counter. But the other 2 I am still thinking about. The emails will only happen if you want them to. This is because you will have to send me your email so that I can add you to the list. So send them to me if you are interested- and I will add you to the list.

Google ads will put adds on the side bar of the blog that are relevant to the subject matter on the blog. This means if we are talking about glues or something, then there should some links to shops or glue sites there. We can always run a test and see if it works. If it doesn't I can always take it back off. Let me know what you think.


Sunday, April 8, 2007

A Woodie or not a Woodie... that is the question

Well I have spent this Easter weekend having a great time with the family and friends. But it has given me time to think about what I have been able to accomplish in the last 6 short weeks. And also to ponder what I would like to have happen in the upcoming future. (Both near and far)

I told you all about the last teacher that we had, by the name of Jono Everret. He was a great and inspiring teacher. I think that he was able to get me to develop some great ideas. But it got me thinking. What I wanted to be when I grow up.

What do I mean by that? Well coming into this course I thought that I knew a fair bit about woodworking. I found that I didn't know as much as I thought I did. But over the last 18 months or so I have learned more than I could have thought. So the question that I ask myself now is do I want to be a Woodie or a Designer?

I recently read a post on a woodworking website about a guy is thinking of starting a woodworking business. He was asking for advice. Someone wrote to him and said, well first you need to decide which genre you are going to work in Arts and Crafts, Shaker, Federal period. I thought to myself WHAT!!

I thought why would you want to limit yourself that way. Sure you can make a great living producing things that have already been done, maybe put your own little spin on it, but why? I thought why would you not want to do what you want. Why not design your own pieces. Why limit your views?

A woodie is someone who builds for the shear technical challenge of it. He or she puts dovetails in a piece just because they like to cut hand cut dovetails. Not because the design of the piece calls for them. A woodie is someone who wants to show off his skill to the point that only other woodies would realize what it took to make that. But the ordinary person would have no clue or appreciate what is there.

A designer makes a piece that talks to you, but not just another woodie or designer, but to everyone. Is exposed joinery necessary, is a question that he asks. Does it distract from the overall look of the piece. A designer has an answer to the question "why did you do that?". And his answer isn't "because I thought it would look good.".

Can I be a woodie, of course I can. I can make anything that you might want. I can hand cut a dovetail with the best of them. I can make a mortise and tenon or a super secret mitered dovetail. I can do all of that, but will a general customer appreciate that, maybe but most likely not. If they do, then they understand the extra cost things like that entail.

But I ask you can a woodie be a designer? Now that is the question. I think that it is possible. But most woodies think that it takes extra art talent and things like that to be able to design. Does it, maybe? But I think that most woodies except that they are woodies, they embrace it, they love it. I love being able to do all those things. But I don't want to be just known for them.

I think some of the great woodworker were both. Sam Maloof, he uses some great joinery techniques but he is known for his designs. People are drawn to his work because of the beauty of the design. After they are drawn in they see the beauty of the craftsmanship. But if you don't like what you see in the first place, you won't get close enough to it to see the joinery and beautiful craftsmanship.

So I have come to the conclusion that I want to be the best of both. I want to be able to design great pieces of furniture that draw you in to see the magnificent craftsmanship involved in making it. I hope I didn't bore you with this.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Gallery News..

Well I just got off the phone with The Design Centre. They are a local yet nationally known fine furniture gallery here in Launceston. And Rye the retail manager of the gallery told me that he is very interested in displaying my stools on the floor. He has to wait for about a week when he will have the floor space. But he seems keen on the fact that they nothing like it in the gallery. So I have to get them shined up and ready for there debut hopefully next week, if not on the following Monday.

There web address is

So check them out. I hope they do well. I am ready to make a few sets. Really I'm just ready to make some money. We will see.

As many of you can see, I added a counter on this site. I have always wondered how many people were or are reading my story. So to all of you that check me out, I just want to say thanks. I really enjoy writing this and sharing my thoughts and ideas with those that read. If you have anything that you would like me to write about or questions you might like answered let me know. I think that would make for interesting reading. Leave me a comment or email me at