Tom Huang – Studio Projects

Spencer Museum reception kiosk
March 18, 2013, 10:58 am
Filed under: Art, Bamboo, Design, Furniture



Progress shots

Feature on design-milk!
January 21, 2012, 12:32 pm
Filed under: Bamboo, Design, Furniture

Featured on design-milk. com

Some kitchen utensils
June 25, 2011, 10:27 am
Filed under: Design

Inspired by Tlingit spoons, this design for a pair of salad utensils is a commission for my friend Louisa.

Wikipedia : Tlingit -( pronounced-/ˈklɪŋkɨt/ or /ˈtlɪŋɡɨt/; also spelled Tlinkit) are an indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast.[2] Their name for themselves is Lingít,[3] meaning “People of the Tides”[4] (pronounced [ɬɪnkɪ́t]). The Russian name Koloshi (Колоши) (from an Alutiiq term for the labret) or the related German name Koulischen may be encountered in older historical literature, such as Shelikhov’s 1796 map of Russian America.[5]


All work and no play….
May 10, 2011, 1:03 pm
Filed under: Bamboo Canoe, Design


As the saying goes, “All work and no play makes jack a dull boy” My studio practice includes a strict regiment of play. Sometimes it is metaphorical; when I am engaged in a creative exploration where the intention is to try hard not to be self-critical of the outcomes. Other times, it is play!

My most recent play experience was a solo trip out to Clinton lake here in Lawrence. What started out as a leisurely two day camp, turned into a weekend research project on the performance of the Bamboo Canoe. The varying conditions on the lake this weekend were a perfect proving ground to study the characteristics of the canoe’s Rob Roy inspired shape.

Conditions on Thursday:

During gusty times, small white caps appeared making for an exciting ride. Moving down wind I was able to catch a few swells for a short ride on the surf.
In general I felt in control and balanced. Despite the wind, the boat tracked evenly, the key was to ballast the boat with the gear.

I was traveling with 40 Lb. pack. I found that tucked directly in front of me, with my legs wrapped around the pack, the boat felt even more stable (our center of gravity had to have been right at the waterline.)

When headed into the waves, there was a rare wave that would throw spray into the boat. My thoughts immediately moved toward designing a spray skirt that would extend the bow-deck. A design that could be clipped onto the stem band and then to the scuppers on the gunwales.

Friday, two neighbors moved into the next site. Highly enthusiastic about the boat, the were quick to overlook their original annoyance that I had arrive a day earlier to claim the picturesque site that perches wonderfully above the lake.

Mike and Marcos were keen on giving me feed back on the boat. On saturday, morning, the weather cleared and the warm condition tempted me into a swim. Before my departure, they each took a turn paddling, they helped me document a stability test, and with a gps they brought along, we were able to track my top speed on the water. On a short burst, I accelerated to 7.2 mph.

I’m hoping Mike and Marcos will drop me a link to the video they shot of the stability test.


New updates to come
April 30, 2011, 9:26 pm
Filed under: Design

I’ve recently moved to a smart phone, and now have the wordpress app!!! (talk about the correct technology for a blog of this nature) This makes someone who is in the shop or on the go, much more likely to blog on a regular basis.

Please stay tuned in, as I will have an update soon! First on my list, the amazing work coming from my students at the University of Kansas! Here’s a link as a preview…this is a great project that my students Tyler Lagaly, Kevin Meyer, Kyle Waggoner, and Peter Curej have been working on for some time now!

James Dyson Award |
July 4, 2010, 5:34 pm
Filed under: Design

James Dyson Award |

Please take some time to check out the link to Andrew William’s (my studio assistant) latest group project.  Project “Kee” addresses the very relevant and dangerous issue of “texting while driving.”  I think you will find their solution innovative and compelling.

Canoe Derivatives – technical advances in strip construction
April 7, 2010, 10:39 am
Filed under: Art, Bamboo, Bamboo Canoe, Design, Furniture

I’ve been pushing hard on some new work getting ready for my next show at Wexler Gallery in Philadelphia.  It opens may 7th, 2010. I’m also so honored to be able to say that this is a joint show with Tom Hucker (see link).  Tom has been a hero to me for a while now, so I’m swelling with pride.  I’m really excited about where the work is going, and have really made some  technical changes/advances to the process in order to achieve the forms you see below.

These came from a sketch that arrived in my sketchbook sometime toward the end of the canoe experience (while I was editing the video that documents the inspiration, construction, and launching of the canoe -see link below).  A series of 6 forms were generated on a software program called Rhino, from which I was able to cut and print out cross section, similar to the canoe making process.  The program generates each compound curvilinear surface from 4 bounding curves that I define.   From there the process is similar to that of the construction of the canoe as documented in the video, with the following exceptions.

I’ve had to change the strip dimension.  I’ve cut the strips in half to create a more square cross section, this allows each piece to bend more evenly in both directions.

I’ve introduced Hot Glue as a clamping mechanism, a trick that maker and artist Rob Macks of Laughing Loon Canoes showed me when I visited his studio.  This replaces the wedging system documented in the video.


The bamboo was very clear in communicating it’s thresholds.  I was able coax a bit more flexibility by creating a humidor and moisturizing the the individual strips.  Steam bending would have worked as well, but not practical with this many strips!!!

Special thanks to my student/studio assistant Andrew Williams for all his help

Photo Credit: Aaron Paden

I hope to have three cocktail tables to show together in May.  I’ve chosen to do the three on the right in the rendering, primarily because it seemed like they would push the bending capacity of the bamboo strips in different ways – in wood working terms, bowed (warped along the length), crooked (warped along the edge),  and twisted (like a Twizzler although my favorite sweets are Skittles).



Fellowship at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship
October 1, 2009, 1:38 pm
Filed under: Bamboo Canoe, Design, Furniture

Welcome to my Blog.  I have to thank Whit Bones for helping me overcome the inertia of learning something new.  As the name of the blog suggest, I hope to be posting about my on goings in the studio.  However, I’m going to be formally starting this blog from Rockland, Maine.  Yesterday, I arrived in Maine, settled into my apartment which I’m renting for the month and unloaded my car-full of materials and tools into my space at the Center  for Furniture Craftsmanship.  My first impressions of the CFC are that the students, faculty, and fellows are all warm, talented and willing to share.  The facilities are top notch!!!  I can’t wait to dive in and get to work.  As you can see from the images I’ve already posted, I’m in the process of building a bamboo canoe.  My plans for my time here will be to finish the canoe and develop ideas for some new pieces of furniture and sculpture that use some of what I’ve learned from the construction of the canoe.  As I learn the technology involved with blogging, I’ll be posting pictures and hopefully some video.  So please check in from time to time and join me on my (canoe) adventure.