Process

My work processes are not those of a typical cabinetmaker but rather closer to a sculptor’s. Here is a series of images which show the process of making Solarium Chair of 1987. The process here is severely compressed since the piece took over three months to make.

smallburl burlinside inside5 inside1
A circa 1983 snapshot of the spalted yellow birch burl after delivered by a local logger. The burl was just over six feet tall and six wide. It weighed about four hundred pounds while still wet. After drying under cover for a couple years and some preliminary carving with a chainsaw, the piece shed about half its weight and I could wrestle it around. The first step was to remove more material from the inside. This electric chainsaw is a serious carving tool. A very dusty process of carving and polishing the interior.
stump blob sitting kidsinburl
The foot of the piece is a burled white birch stump. After carving and cleaning up the foot I join the seat to it. The upper portion of the foot is carved to receive the seat. They are then bolted together. I had to use a block and tackle for the fitting. A rest before finishing. Wheels set in the underside of the foot enable the owner to move the piece easily. After all the carving the piece probably weighs about two hundred pounds. After many applications of oil the piece was ready to photograph before delivery to western Pennsylvania. I got some friends to pose in it.