Wednesday, December 1, 2010

over the moon

It is week 5 and we are in the middle of our case piece project with Austin Matheson co-teaching/assisting Tim. Mine is a rather simple wall cabinet but I didn't want to be stung not finishing it or learning everything thoroughly. I have finished the joinery for the case construction (the 4 walls) and today made dados (grooves in the inner walls for the shelves to sit in) which took me all day. When it is laying on my bench it looks like a baby coffin or a cat coffin. That is what I, and now others, refer to it as.
Everyday we learn another way to make a dado or whatnot on a different machine: the router, the table saw with a dado set, a horrifying old German saw referred to as "the green monster" or other scary instrument of terror. Usually the demos panic me cause they all seem to be in Greek. But my teacher assures me that I will be making dados, rabbets, grooves, mortises and finger joints on all the machines and become proficient ...yeah, like I am in Greek. Others in the class are, of course, more experienced than moi and are making QueenAnn Secretaries and such for their casepiece projects. For our last project we will learn veneering and steaming and I have definitely decided that I want to make something with legs, like a demi-lune table or a simple, one drawer desk. I finished my 1st project bench right on time, but of course the sides were already done from my 2 week class last June. I don't care, it felt good to finish it and to be the first in the class. Some people are still working on their bench projects when they can squeeze in the time, and mine is finished, in the bag, yea me. Today I glued and clamped quarter sawn boards together to make my door. It was fun and I got to use my schmancy Lie Nielson plane for the edges. Tomorrow we have an all day field trip to famous furniture makers Kevin Rodel's, Alex Hamilton's and Howard Hatch's workshops.

Peter announced that there is arsenic in the water and there always has been but the rules and regs changed and now we can't drink it till they put a filtration system on. Also, we found out some good dirt about last winter's 9 month class: there was a fellow so cantankerous and irritable that he had to leave and Peter had to get a restraining order cause, I guess, they were afraid he might have gone postal! Another time there were 2 guys who just could not get along and the school brought in a mediator! I can't imagine jeopardizing the time one has at this amazing place! And I loved hearing the smut.

I came home early tonight and made dinner with Amy. We had a piece of halibut, which I finished before taking this picture, some salad with pomegranate seeds and fried oysters which we ate with these fab quail-claw grabbers from her silver set!

Here is a bunch of seagulls sitting on top of a house which looks out over the water. The bird at the far left is a fake owl which is probably suppose to scare gulls from landing on the roof.
It has become warm and foggy out tonight so the Rockport foghorn is eerily om-ing away. Before I left home I reminded people that I was only going away for 3 months and just to Maine, not the moon. Sometimes though... I feel like I am on the moon.


  1. Geo,
    Looks like fun times sur la lune, ma cherie. J'aime beaucoup la vocabulaire -- dados and rabbets, and mortise and tenon and dovetail joinery. The wrods sound so optimistic and upbeat.
    Darius is taking French this year, so je le parle souvent ces jours. A bientot, L

  2. the grabbers are made especially to grab quail claws, or the grabbers themselves are fashioned to look just like quail claws??

    just wondering