Tom Huang – Studio Projects

June 19, 2011, 1:08 pm
Filed under: Center for furniture Craftsmanship, Furniture

I’ve just completed a busy 2 weeks in Maine co-teaching with Maine furniture maker Tim Rousseau. We had an incredibly dedicated class of students from all different walks of life. In the end, in the short two weeks we had 10 of the 12 projects glued up!!!

Keeping in mind that the joints were cut by hand, and much of our two weeks was spent learning the skills to do this work, I was impressed with the dedication and energy of this group.

Here are some of the pieces, and a link to Tim’s website.



One of Tim’s fantastic demonstrations.

Although I was slated to teach with Peter Korn, I ended up teaching with Tim due to an unforseeable circumstance. Regrettably, I was not able to spend time getting to see first hand, Peter’s skill as both a teacher and maker, but my week with Tim was amazing. Tim is a highly gifted teacher and maker. I can see clearly that the center’s careful cultivation of relationships with local talent as well as talent from abroad bodes well for its future as a highly significant Mecca for the world of furniture making.

Australian maker and teacher David Upfill-Brown is also currently a resident fellow here. A previous instructor of the 9 month comprehensive, David has become a mentor both in the studio and on the water. A consumate fly fisherman, he graciously guided me into the best bass fishing I’ve ever experienced! His generous nature and contagious exuberance is paralleled only by his remarkable eye, highly skilled hands, comprehensive understanding and acute articulation of insight into furniture making. Here he is shaping legs for a commission of beautiful dining chairs. An image of a previous design follows.




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.

Maine and the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship – October 2009
October 9, 2009, 1:28 pm
Filed under: Bamboo, Bamboo Canoe, Center for furniture Craftsmanship, Furniture
What more can I say?

What more can I say? Maine at it's best.

Halfway across the country with a halfway completed canoe on the rack.

Halfway across the country with a halfway completed canoe on the rack.

My journey to Maine was long and relatively uneventful.  I did however get a chance to visit with friends along the way.  I’m fortunate to have the friends that I do, and I’ve already started to get to know the other Fellows here at the CFC.  Two nights ago, we went out to a fantastic dinner at a restaurant in Camden, Maine called Francine’s. During our meal, Adam Peterson, a furniture maker from Minneapolis, Minnesota talked about the value of fine furniture as it related to the fine artisan meal we were consuming.  He talked about the wonderful patrons that he’s had who have supported his craft.  He commented that they truly value the experience of owning something made to a high level of refinement and care.  I couldn’t agree more.  In this day and age of instant and fast, the object that is carefully and well made, stands out.  And to the discerning, it is worth every penny.  After all, the experience of owning fine furniture is not exclusive to the original purchaser’s lifetime.  It will long out live him or her. It will carry on functionally, but also build its own independent history.  Isn’t that why it’s called an heirloom?  It weaves us together, generation to generation.

Rockport, Maine

Rockport, Maine

Community of Craft

Community of Craft

Studio Fellowships at the Center allow for studio space, on-site materials for purchase, and 24 hour access to incredible woodworking facilities.  In return, one is simply to contribute 6 hours of service time per week to the Center.  This can include anything from being a gallery monitor, to lawn maintenance, to sorting lumber into the lumber racks.   At the end of the day when you work side by side contributing, you quickly become a part of this wonderful community.

Bamboo Canoe
September 17, 2009, 1:30 pm
Filed under: Bamboo, Bamboo Canoe, Center for furniture Craftsmanship