Friday, June 27, 2008

Jim Seffens Papier-Mache Artist

Jim Seffens is the most talented papier-mache artist I've ever met and I'm pleased to share he has a new website.
It is an unbelievable craft and he makes it look too easy. His studio/store in Hell's Kitchen NY is where I first started selling my cutting boards. I always enjoy stopping by his shop to see what new piece he is working on and he has always been happy to share his process with me and anyone wanting to know more about papier-mache.
He has been featured on PBS' Antiques Roadshow and is a top mask maker for many theatrical productions.
He is also a big supporter of other artists, inviting them to sell or show their work in his studio.
One day soon I hope to sit down and interview Jim and share more about his craft, but until then
check out his website.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Vertical Gardens & Sky Farms

A friend just sent me a cool article about Vertical Garden & Sky Farms-Courtesy of Environmental Graffiti, a UK based blog.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

April Fool's Joke Not Ridiculous Enough

April Fool's joke goes Unmentioned.
Perhaps it was the all too believable photoshop photo I made,
or the convincing story that a multi millionaire would tinker away in his garage making a hand crafted mahogany time capsule.
Maybe I just didn't push the envelope enough-maybe the time capsule should have opened and everyone's face melts off.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Harrison Ford Time Capsule Celebrates Clinton & Obama

Kodak Theatre Hollywood California March 31, 2008

Carpenter turned Hollywood A-List Actor, Harrison Ford, has resurrected his tool belt and artisan skills in a gesture of political posterity.  Ford's long time companion Calista Flockhart, "Indiana Jones" director Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and former President Bill Clinton mixed with Hollywood brass and political big-wigs as Ford unveiled a hand crafted mahogany time capsule meant to commemorate the momentous occasion of Presidential Candidates Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama being the forerunners for the top executive position in American politics.  California State Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said of Clinton and Obama's candidacy, "This is the first time anything has happened in American Politics that could have happened in a movie I was in.  No longer can they say only in Hollywood".

Monday, March 31, 2008

Yellow Pencil;Carpenter Couture

Policeman have badges. Doctors have stethoscopes.  Yuppies have blackberries.  Carpenters have pencils.
Of course there are many writing & marking implements to choose from, but none quite as a versatile or as wearable as the yellow graphite pencil that sheaths so neatly above the ear.  
Always at the ready, it is an essential for measurement dictation, plan-sketching & creating an easily removable mark on wood being milled for fabrication.
The first American wood pencils were made in 1812 by William Monroe, a cabinetmaker from Concord Massachusetts.  In the 1800's the best graphite in the world was found in China. Pencil manufacturers began painting pencils yellow to identify the Chinese graphite.  The color, which then symbolized Chinese royalty, has since become synonymous with wooden pencils.
Although the flat and chunky "carpenter's" pencil is a top choice for many, the yellow no. 2 is sleeker, looks smart and proves useful for many things beyond carpentry such as artistic sketching, crossword puzzles and all brands of standardized testing like the SAT's.  That's right kids, it's not just a cool looking earpiece that resembles a school bus dangling on the edge of a cliff, the pencil is a tool and a fashion.  (Another plus, it usually comes with its own eraser).

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sensitive Carpentry: 2007

As the Sensitive Carpenter blog celebrates it's one year anniversary, I find myself reflecting on a list of varied & interesting jobs that I want to write about. Fabrication of furniture, cabinets & set pieces require an investment of energy and resources, which doesn't always leave time for the writing muse.  And then there's that whole thing about wood chips and microchips not mixing.  Let's face it, sawdust & computers aren't really on friendly terms.  Nonetheless, I consider it a privilege and an honor to do this work & I want to pay the joy forward-to you.  So here are a few of this years projects that I enjoyed & I hope you will too..thank you. -SC

  • As a freelance art & craft journeyman in New York City, I take on all sorts of neat projects, many of them in production as a scenic/set carpenter. Whether Off Broadway or on the runway, every job has its own unique vision and identity.  I designed and built sets for a friend's production of five one-acts appropriately titled "A Night of One Acts" - Highlights from this job were a dilapidated kitchen set equipped with a butcher block island and sink with fleck counter tops and an Upper East side balcony set comprised of stucco walls, french doors and a banister made of insulation foam painted to look like concrete & slate.
  • Another set for a different play, "Dossier: Ronald Ackerman", consisted of a bench & cube reflective of design in the plays country of origin, Holland.  I was pleased with the modern and sleek look of the pieces and am inspired to use elements in future furniture projects.
  • The right piece of furniture can illuminate, uplift & really turn a room into a "place". In keeping with my polychromatic love of wood, I designed a space efficient kitchen table & stools for my small NYC apartment.
  • I also built set pieces for a MAC cosmetic photo shoot.  Nothing says make-up better than 20 over sized enamel cherry cut-outs!
  • I had a couple of cabinet jobs that coincidentally were for the home offices of two different teachers.  One was an addition to a college professor's library in a Manhattan townhouse-it was designed & built to blend with existing wall to wall bookcases that have been there at least 30 years.  The other job, for a Baltimore High School teacher, was a large maple work desk custom designed to fit in the corner of the room & accommodate optimum function for the small space.  It was a pleasure to enhance the lives of two people who've devoted themselves to enriching and enhancing the lives of so many others.
  • A neighbor of mine asked me to contribute some original artwork to a skateboard he and his son were building as a gift for a 10 year old relative.  I made a crazy graffiti spraying monkey and released my inner 10 year old.
  • I revisited set design elements & foam carving with a 6 foot alligator for a theme party thrown for family & friends during the holiday season entitled "Christmas on the Bayou". We all ate crayfish & gumbo and celebrated yuletide spirit admiring the colorful and festive alligator, instead of the more traditional...log.
  • The Christmas season also proved to be busy with a whole lot of small woodworking projects.  I made decorative & functional necklace trees for my sisters and a multi-colored keepsake box for my brother and of course...cutting boards.  I love making & selling each unique handmade board.  They may not be my bread & butter, but they are most certainly my butter.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Stay Tuned for Updates

After a long break, filled with much carpentry, I will be updating soon.
More sawdust-more tears to come.


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