Tuesday, October 26, 2010

ASFM Graduate Student Work II

When Kerin Lifland showed up for class the first day, I knew I would learn more from him than the other way around. He was a talented artist and accomplished woodworker. He was also very kind and humble, so it was easy to work with him of projects during class.

One of the first exercises in class requires the students to draw their face. Not everyone draws in two colors, in such a way that it can be properly cut into a marquetry picture. Kristen and I usually allow at least an hour for the students to take a photo and trace the outline properly. Kerin was done in about 10 minutes. That was the first clue that he had done this before.

He had also worked in marquetry extensively before he arrived, and, except for the chevalet and some other minor aspects of the craft, was just interested in taking his talent to the next level.

You can visit his site at www.kerinlifland.com.

After he finished the classes, I went to Los Angeles to visit with him and was amazed at his workshop. He had basically built a large shop behind his house, and had independently created many fixtures, jigs and other creative solutions to woodworking problems that were unique. I am always surprised when I am in a shop which is not limited (as my shop is) to hand tools.

Years later, Kerin called me late at night in a panic. He said that he had created a large marquetry work of art and something had gone terribly wrong. He had glued it down with protein glue but, in working to clean up the surface, the pieces had discolored and lifted, damaging the surface. Not only was the surface damaged but it was in the most important part of the design...the face!

This is one of the most important differences between woodworkers who create new pieces and woodworkers who spend their time in repair and restoration of damaged pieces. I am more of a restorer and I have always had the ability to solve difficult repair issues, even on the most complex pieces.

He was in such a state of concern that the entire project was ruined, that I calmly said, "Bring it here and we will fix it. No problem."

The next week both Kerin and his wonderful art was sitting in my shop. I put on my Optivisor, got out some clean water, some heat and tweezers. Working carefully, I reset all the damaged elements, using fresh Old Brown Glue. Overnight in the press finished the repair.

Next up, Patrice cleaned up the surface, removing the stains. Careful work resulted in a successful repair. When we finished, you could not see any damage, even with a close examination. Kerin was grateful and surprised at the same time.

More importantly, we all got to spend some quality time together.

1 comment:

Les Kraut said...

Wow Patrick, I didn't know Kerin built his Chevalet. Indeed he is very humble, and he helped me a lot as a beginner. I have to say, I really appreciated being in class with him the first time through.
Awesome Class With an Awesome teacher!