This week I had the pleasure of talking to Christine (so sorry if I spelled your name wrong, I should have checked) from the wood group exhibition in the Werby gallery. Not only was she incredibly nice and easy going, she actually helped explain her endeavors in and path to woodworking. Though she is now a Studio Art major with an emphasis in Wood, she began not truly knowing what she wanted to do (she even admitted her parents sort of forced her into going to college in the first place). She said she actually started out as a Photography major, but a basic shop class she took made her realize how much she liked making things and she truly fell in love with it.
Christine was so easy going and fun to talk to and she seemed incredibly happy to finally be showing her work.
Her work in the show included a “swirly table” and a spoon. The table seemed practically impossible to make, but she said it took her about 3 semesters and now that she knew how to it might take just 3 months. It actually came about because of an assignment in one of her lamination classes in which she had to make something with a bend in it, so she decided to make a table. The process she used was called cold molding, which she said is how boats are typically made. She said it was basically like creating plywood, but just to a certain form. The process took veneers of wood, then bent them into the desired form, usually around a piece of plastic, and then repeating that process with perpendicular layers until it stays. She was glad she had a professor who was knowledgeable about making boats to guide her, but with this table under her belt, it seems she could practically start teaching classes as well. She said she hopes to make a set with small, simple stools so she can sell it for what she feels it is truly worth. We agreed emotional attachment as well as the dedication and craftsmanship truly play a major role in actually letting a piece go, and we joked that she should bid up some snooty rich people so they’d buy it for a million and she could be set for life.
The swirly table was truly impressive from both far away and up close. It almost looked like a floor had gone through a tornado and magically and beautifully stuck that way.
The spoon, she said, was an entirely different story. The night before the show, her and the only other actual wood emphasis major in the show decided to make extra pieces for the gallery. Her’s, the small twirly spoon, and her friend’s, the table toward the back wall, may have been last minute efforts to have more in the show, but they look truly impressive (especially for a mere days work). She said she likes carving little things, and if she pursues a career for her wood making, she would stick mainly to smaller things, rather than more huge twirly tables.
Christine’s spoon and her friend’s table – hard to believe these were made in one night.
With such incredible pieces and experience, it seems she is truly ready for a wood working career (though she did say the idea of finally graduating was slightly daunting; we agreed “the real world” can be slightly scary and the tech available at the school was a great asset that would be truly missed). She said she has two possible ideal careers: one would be to own her own shop, operated from her home, where she could make and sell things. The other (which she said was slightly unrealistic, but seemed might actually be incredibly possible for her) was to work for Nelson building tree houses in Oregon.
Whatever path she chooses for her life, it seems Christine has nothing but possibility and good times ahead of her. With such impressive work and such a friendly, go-getter attitude, there is no doubt she will be able to do great things. Hopefully she will be able to make her dream of creating fantastic tree houses into a reality; maybe one day she can even make a giant swirly tree house to put her incredible table (and spoon) in.