Here’s Lady Macbeth being made, the project and process my wife, Tina Fruchter, and I went through during the Echo Lake conference. This was our first collaborative workshop woodworking event, and also our first workshop collaboration together. We learned a lot on several fronts, and I’ll step out from behind the camera to share with you in this post.
On the design front I really enjoyed turning and sawing crude joints for pelvis, elbow and shoulder using pin-and-pivot mechanism from my current work on four-bar linkages in furniture. The Echo Lake experience advanced my work too: first day back in the UArts workshop, I made several improved versions of shoulder and elbow joints, adding to my gizmo-and-mechanism vocabulary.
On the tooling front, I lusted for an inflatable drum sander like Norm Sartorius has, and confirmed anew my own preference for the band saw for nearly every sawing operation. I also gained new appreciation for high-speed power carving tools, even as I decided not to acquire a set-up of my own.
On the collaborative partnership front it went really well, with good discussions that advanced the project without arguments. At the same time, Tina rediscovered why she does not do shop work: she’s very sensitive to wood dust in the air. She’d need a respirator helmet like Ben Carpenter wears to carve and sand.
On the art and auction front, we noted that large sculptural pieces including ours did not attract anywhere near the interest that budders showed in small, nicely finished objets d’art. People said they couldn’t give it floor space, it wasn’t useful enough to have a vestigial cabinet inside the figure’s body.
That begs the question of whether the piece was any good, you’ll have to decide for yourself. For me, it was enough to enjoy the Echo Lake experience, make new friends, try new things, and come away with new ideas.