Sunday, March 17, 2019

Vernacular Furniture

I posted something similar to this on SMC yesterday and it had a few interesting replies. BTW, "vernacular" is art speak for folk, untrained, or "outside of the Academy" work.

 I've been watching C.S.'s journey into making vernacular furniture with great interest for the last couple of years. I find the form interesting maybe because I've always been interested in folk, outsider, and vernacular art. Back in the day when I was spending time doing post baccalaureate studio art at the university much of my study was outsider art. I'm drawn to the form. It is the same with furniture.

For the past year or so I've been making stick furniture, both chairs and tables and while there have been a few useable pieces made there have been more failures than not, but even the failures can please my eye. Some of the failures even work in their own strange way. An example was a child's chair with one rear leg that went off in a different direction. At first I thought about making a new seat and redoing the seat mortises but the more I looked at the chair the more I liked the weird leg. Perfect whimsy for a young child and it has a life lesson built in: Even if you are imperfect you can be beautiful and useful.

A photo of the child's chair with a full sized chair before it was painted:

The child's chair is a prime example of a common failure if not using jigs. A small misalign can make a huge difference in rake and splay. Splitting of the seat/slab is also too easy and common. One hit pass the "that sounds about right" will usually result in a split. The other day I split a slab when driving a cross grain wedge into a leg tenon. It shouldn't have happened but it did. Sometimes the split can be repaired with a butterfly key.

I've been using  a 12* reamer and tenon cutter for making the seat/slab mortise and tenon joints. I now have a set of 6* reamers and tenon cutters. My hope, and I expect I'm correct, is the 6* M/T joint will be more forgiving and not as likely to split the slab.


Friday, March 15, 2019

MsBubba's Desk Version II

The desk changed a little 😀.

I made a measuring mistake on the first build and it didn't fit well in the space available. I made a couple of small changes to make it fit and it did but damn it was butt ugly. The base is now in the back garden, where it will live while waiting for a top or a trip to the fire pit.

I don't know if the mistake was subconscious or not but it allowed me to build the desk I wanted to in the first place. This time with MsBubba's blessing.

The desk with a coat of Danish oil, waiting for it to cure.

Over the last year or so I've become a fan of vernacular furniture. To my eye it just looks right in our house. There may be some argument from MsBubba but I think she is coming around.

In Casa Chaos news: The wall (kinda a retaining wall but not really) between the pool and the gully fell the day of our big snow. The bids are out for the repair job but none received yet. I don't think I really want to know but whatever it has to be done.

After years of being deaf as a post I got a hearing aid yesterday. I didn't realize what a beautiful, pleasant world I had lived in for the last 20 or so years. Damn the world is noisy, even turning on a light switch sounds like a gun going off and this morning I could have sworn the washing machine was defective. It may still be but whatever it seemed to have washed the load. If it wasn't for being able to understand MsBubba when she talks to me and the wonderful sound of music from the radio I'd go back in a heartbeat. Oh, one other thing, the sound of a sharp plane on wood is beautiful.