This bookshelf is for the room set aside from computers, laser cutters and CNC routers within Autodesk’s Artist In Residence program. I was asked to create something to showcase objects of inspiration, in a room for relaxation and contemplation. Instead of making the piece smaller so that the room’s light switch remained outside of the shelving, this piece creates the space for interaction and invitation, an opening where a person will put their hand between the assemblage of pillars each time they enter or leave the room. The goal was to create a relationship between the resident makers and the structures which support objects of contemplation. It is about creating a space for history while embracing the act of shedding light, and, conserving energy.
This tiny Kitchen was short on storage and had a 112º angle that made previous shelving ineficient and awkward. This hutch fits to the back of the wall to allow for mixers and blenders below, and the three sizes of mason jars, cups and plates above.
Elm Slices are thinly cut, 16′ x 2′ x 1/4″ pieces of wood with a burlap backing that can stand against a wall, fit in the corner of a room or hang from the ceiling. They are lightweight, solid and easily affixed to any surface. Cut from wet, newly salvaged urban trees, each slice is allowed to change shape as it dries, taking a shape that woodworkers normally try to to avoid. To build the angular stuff that becomes furniture we do everything we can to make and keep wood straight and flat, but these are different.
Each tree’s unique reaction to the subtleties of it’s habitat, the changing directions of grain that come from forces exerted by branches, or a slope, or wind direction create varying densities and internal tensions, and have the potential unfurl a flat piece of freshly cut wood into a dynamic, warping plane that tells a story of topography, like landscapes created by geologic time that are an alternative to the map like information of a board. Ideally, these pieces show an aspect of time that goes beyond the counting of rings, and the marks and coloring of a two dimensional surface. I hope they show the third and forth dimensions of wood’s honest transformation, from living thing, to record of life, when left to it’s own resources and unrestricted by the weight of the lumberyard and the heat of the kiln.
Sim Van der Ryn asked me to build him a side table out of a giant piece of live edge edge cypress for his home in Inverness. We went to my woodpile where he picked out the pieces, and I built it to his specifications. It was an honor to make something for such an incredible thinker and maker.