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.  

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