Friday, September 4, 2015

WPE and ASFM return to MASW

Me Pointing To The Packet
I just returned to work from a two week teaching job in Indianapolis.  My first time at Marc Adam's school was two years ago and you might remember me posting here about that experience.

This time I was asked to teach two full weeks of French marquetry in addition to two different classes over the weekend.  It was a very rewarding time for me and I appreciate all the help that Marc and his excellent staff provided.

Marc Adams is a person with a very high energy level and his ability to organize and direct such a large and complicated school of woodworking is amazing.  As a teacher, I am provided with absolutely everything I might ask for to make my job as easy as possible.  He pays my airfare, sets me up in a nice hotel, lets me use his car, feeds me lunch and pays me a good salary.  In addition, since I could not teach the craft of French marquetry without the tools, he had his staff build 8 really fine oak chevalets, which are set up in my classroom when I arrive.

The only thing that I can complain about is that there is nothing to complain about!
Precision Work

Cutting Piece by Piece on a French Chevalet in Indianapolis
The first week I had 9 students and the school has only 8 chevalets.  It was not a real problem as I realized that one of the students had only one arm!  I have never had a student with only one arm before, but he quietly reassured me that it was not a problem for him, as he had lost his arm in an automobile accident as a young child and managed to do all kinds of woodwork projects without any difficulty.  It was an inspiration to seek him cut marquetry packets, but not on a chevalet.  He worked on a Hegner jig saw, and did quite well, I would like to say.

Stage I Project #2: The Face

Stage I Project #3: Beer Coasters
As the first week was a Stage I class working with the Boulle process, the students each completed the three normal projects: The Triptych, The Face, and The Beer Coasters.  This gives them a chance to complete three projects start to finish, which involves building the packet, cutting out the elements (in superposition), building an Assembly Board, gluing down the elements, applying mastic and cleaning up the paper on the face after the marquetry is glued down to a board.

During the second week I taught a class on Piece by Piece method, and the students made two projects.  They cut and assembled three copies of the classic first exercise, the Rose.  Then, since they were essentially done by Wednesday, they all completed another project using the Boulle method: Painting in Wood.

Painting In Wood Exercise

Cleaning off the Paper with Water

The Excitement of Seeing the Work for the First Time

Lots of Roses

During the weekend, between the French marquetry classes, I taught two different one day workshops.  The first class was on how to use protein glues to veneer a column.  It is amazing to me that so many different furniture designs in so many different countries incorporated veneered columns in their furniture during the first half of the 19th century.  At the same time, it is not at all a common element of furniture made today.  I think that veneering columns is a neat trick, and I have worked out a simple system using Old Brown Glue which works every time.

Column Ready for Cutting Seam
Since the process actually takes three days, I prepared a column the day before and demonstrated cutting the seam during the class.  Then I repeated the first step on two other columns, both straight and tapered.

Having Fun Re Gluing the Seam

At the end of the class I had three columns, in different stages of completion.

Old Brown Glue, Jig Set Up, Tools Required, and Final Results

The second day of the weekend was a lot of fun and I had a very large class.  Everyone got a wood jig and a back saw and a packet of veneer and cut out "tarsia geometrica" elements.  They all got a chance to build assembly boards and glue down variations of their design.  I think it would be a good idea to expand this topic into a full week class in the future, both at MASW and also here at ASFM.

The Cube, a classic example of "Tarsia Geometrica"

Marc asked me to return next year and I agreed to teach again in August.  The weather was great and I look forward to the experience.

If you want to see more pictures of his school, and my class, visit his site: MASW Photos

The only down side, if there were any, to teaching at Marc Adams is that I need to ship 100lbs of tools and materials.  You cannot imagine what goes through the TSA inspector's minds when they open my bags and find such strange stuff...


Luke Addington said...

Tarsia Geometrica would be great to explore at ASFM (especially the more complicated motifs). The colors for the third Boulle exercise and the element par element rose are great. Are you using dyed green 0.9mm sliced veneer for the leaves?

Glad the classes went well!


W. Patrick Edwards said...

Yes, I took all the 0.9mm veneer with me for the projects. That is one reason I had so much baggage.

The cool thing about geometrica is that you do not need a special tool, like the chevalet. 99% of the designs can be done with a straight cut, using either a knife or a veneer saw.

At the school I was introduced to the Jointmaker tool made by Bridge City Tools. What a neat idea. This tool is essentially a jig which holds the saw and a moveable carriage which moves the wood against the saw, by hand. I could see immediately that it would work for geometrica, and I put my name on the waiting list at Bridge City. Check out their video online for this tool.

It would have been nice to sand shade the elements for the second exercise but there wasn't time.

shipwright said...

Congratulations on another successful trip Patrick. My teaching debut is rapidly approaching and I'm getting quite excited about it. Your write-up here just adds to my anticipation. Thank you.