Tom Huang – Studio Projects

Ken Tomita – Project Chaboo
November 20, 2009, 12:35 pm
Filed under: Bamboo

Community is a term that seems to be quickly evolving.  With the advent of Twitter, Facebook, and other social network conduits, the possibility to connect with other like minded people from a physical distance seems to become more and more boundless.  Ken Tomita is a furniture maker, artist, visionary and community leader extraordinaire based in Portland, Oregon.  I was introduced to Ken about a year ago, but had been made aware of our similar interest by Master bamboo weaver and Artist, Jiro Yonezawa and his wife Kate almost two years before that.  I became aware of Ken’s passion for community when  he introduced me to a project he was developing.  I was immediately taken by the idea, and thrilled/honored when he agreed to let me participate within 5 minutes of our meeting for the first time!  Since it’s original manifestation, Project Chaboo has gone on to a second incarnation.  It’s a great concept, and I hope more are to come!!!  Check out the site –  Project chaboo.

Fellow Fellows
November 18, 2009, 1:59 pm
Filed under: Bamboo Canoe, Center for furniture Craftsmanship

Transitioning back into life at home has proven to be more challenging than transitioning into life at the CFC.  The day-to-day is packed with myriad things that demand immediate attention.  With young kids, long gone are the focused days of time in the workshop.  But with the distance of time and space, I’m still left with a feeling of fondness and deep respect for the people and work happening at the Center.  My fellow Fellows, were a huge part of my experience, and although I’ve alluded to their help on my project, their individual gifts and their work had an enormously positive impact on me.

To generalize, the care and dedication of all of these individuals was paramount.   “Hard working” might be one way to describe  what I witnessed, but it seems that the word “hard” implies both “difficulty” and “toil”.  Both of these subsequent words are a bit askew when describing what I experienced.  Although there were many elements to the work that was being done that I would certainly qualify as technically “difficult,”(and it is safe to say that all the Fellows constantly challenged themselves in this respect) it was most notable that the spirit with which the Fellows approached their work was one of zest and joy.  If there was any element of  “toil,” it was certainly met with an equal amount of “playfulness.”

If handwork were to be used as a metaphor, it is needless to say that I hope to keep in touch with them all, and that our friendship has the comfort, warmth and familiarity of a favorite pair of gloves.

Brian Reid - Head Fellow - Wise and True Craftsman

I met Brian a few years ago and immediately admired his “centered” demeanor.  In getting to know him better during this visit, I enjoyed the keen wit in his humor and the sincerity in his willingness to share and teach.  His beautiful work and eye for design playfully incorporates marquetry and color.  I came away remembering the importance of thinking deeply and acting confidently.

Reed Hansuld - Bright, rising star

Reed is always cool and composed.  His immense talent is also paired with a humility and graciousness.  He is passionate about being a furniture maker, and with his focus I can only assume his future to be wherever he wants to take it.  I know I’ll strive to emulate his drive and focus.  I can only wish to have his Canadian bred slap-shot, which I got to witness during his first game of the season.  Have Fun!

Tyler Killian - The Natural

Tyler Killian - The Natural

At 18, Tyler impresses me with his clarity and gift.  His work has the beauty of a singular confident brushstroke.  Although I never got a picture of the stool he’s sitting on, it is beautifully crafted and emerged seemingly effortlessly in just a short day and a half.  The shaped seat is crisp and beautifully contoured like the Maine landscape which I hope we will hike together someday soon.

Vince Scully - New Horizons

Vince made a life change recently.  After 30 + years as a contractor, he dissolved his partnership in a successful business to follow a calling. He brings all of his construction experience to a new scale, and now as a furniture maker his eyes for detail twinkle with each stroke of his finely tuned Lie-Nielsen Shoulder Plane (which he graciously loaned to me on various occasions).  His skill and talent are only surpassed by his willingness to try new things.  I’m inspired by his approach to life and hope to continue evolving as he has.

The beauty of the CFC is in its small scale, the fellows were not the only people that impacted me during my time there.  I was touched deeply by many; by their genuine interest, insight, wisdom, and care.  I’d like to think that I’ve made lasting friendships, and hope to soon be reunited whether it be in the studio, across a handmade table, on a trail, or on the water in a canoe.