Studio visits with David Ellsworth and Michael Kehs

In this post, we revisit the group’s field trip to the homes and studios of Michael Kehs and David and Wendy Ellsworth.

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The grand staircase at David and Wendy Ellsworth’s.

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Above the grand staircase, a stained glass window.

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A reverse angle shot, looking up the grand staircase, with the top of David’s head in the foreground (oops!).

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Megan and Anastasia on the couch at David’s.  Glass objects in the foreground and turned wood objects behind.

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The desk in Wendy’s studio, where she produces her beadworks.

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David’s studio.  The sunlight filtering through the foliage bathes everything in an eldritch green.

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David addressing the group in his studio.  I was amazed at the care with which his many lathes were maintained.  They were clearly well loved and well used, but they were also immaculate!

Bowls_Room

Upstairs in the former snooker room, a selection of turned bowls and windows.  This shot and the next are of particular interest to ITE 2017 Fellow Megan McGlynn due to the confluence of natural and artificial light.

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Ellsworth_green2

Another green room!

Ellsworth_Calling

David calls Michael Kehs to let him know we’re coming.

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Max and Michael load a walnut burl into the ITE van.

 

4th of July outing

Over the 4th of July weekend, the group met and walked to the Parkway near the water to hear (and possibly see, if we could get close enough) Boyz II Men and Mary J. Blige, who were performing.

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On the way, I espied this young man wearing a Batman t-shirt on a bicycle all alone in a parking lot.

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When we got to the Parkway, three things happened in quick succession.  First, I realized that I had neglected to bring more film.  Second, Boyz II Men’s performance concluded.  Third, it began to rain torrentially.

We first sheltered under a tree, but once the canopy became saturated it ceased to provide any form of protection.  With the storm showing no signs of letting up, we booked it back to the dorm.  By the time we got back, the sky was clearing and the streets were drying, but we were sodden to the bone.

Mary J. Blige did play, and there were fireworks.  Some of the residents reconvened and watched online.  Your biddable scribe went directly to bed.

What we’ve been up to

Last week we were visited by this year’s resident scholar, Elizabeth Kozlowski, who interviewed each of us about our work and conducted extensive research in the Center’s library in addition to taking classes at NextFab.  She also accompanied the group on a field trip to George Nakashima’s workshop, where George’s daughter, Mira, was kind enough to give us a tour of their beautiful and impressive facility.

This past Saturday was Open Studios day at NextFab.  Guests toured the workshop and enjoyed presentations by each of the residents.

Pictures of all of these goings on are forthcoming.  I fell behind on processing film and scanning because I’ve begun the second phase of my personal project–

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–PRINTING!

Some more quiet pictures

Alienware

Felicia’s CNC control station with my accidental reflection.  (The camera with which this picture was taken was a gift to me from Phil Brown, and I’m extremely grateful to him for it!)

Postcard

Showcards for our upcoming show!

Burls

A wood burl and a cardboard burl (or, “cardburl”) on a cart.

Dax_Box

A box for Daniel’s daxophone tongues (with daxophone tongue-shaped inlays).

Iris

The iris of Jason’s left eye–even it is made of cardboard.

CNC

Felicia’s CNC with my feet.

Max Bakes

King_Arthur

Max has got himself a sack of King Arthur brand all-purpose flour, and he’s using it to make patterns on wood.

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They almost look like they could be paintings, like from the wall of an ancient cave in France, don’t you think?

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Here’s how he’s doing it: first he mixes the flour with water to make a paste.

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Then he applies the paste to the surface of the wood.

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Then he blasts the heck out of it with a torch.

The group at work

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Another shot of Felicia stacking.

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Max trims before turning.

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Felicia turns.

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Another shot of Felicia and Marc from NextFab segmenting a log.

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I don’t know about you, but that look of Jason’s stops my heart every time.

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Jason stopping someone’s heart–I forget whose–with his look.

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Jason examines a cardboard wedge.  The wedge’s heart stops.

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Daniel assembles a knob.

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Max and a freshly turned piece.

Some more from D.C.–and one from the Echo Lake luncheon

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Albert addresses the table at the Echo Lake luncheon.

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The group outside of an REI in Rockville, MD, in front of a “tall commissioned outdoor work, 28’h x 16′ x 8′, by Foon Sham.  Made of 5000+ blocks of Kebony Pine.”

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Phil Brown, who provided the description of the Foon Sham piece I quoted in the last caption, ascends a spiral staircase at the Grainer’s.

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Evocative shadows at the Grainers.

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I don’t know about you, but that look of Jason’s stops my heart every time.

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A view of the Grainer’s through their window.

 

0203_Felicia-2

Felicia has found something she likes.

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I’ve found something I like.

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Daniel has found something he likes.

0402_Me_Geese

I can’t get enough of these geese!

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Felcia and bowls at Arthur and Jane Mason’s.

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Jeff Bernstein and Judy Chernoff give a brief introduction to their collection.  Felicia and other residents, take note–I told you I’d get you eating and drinking!

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Frank Sinatra in the dining room at Deena and Jerry Kaplan’s.

Some quiet pictures

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Daniel in the dorms at UArts.

0104_Max_Crack

Max ordinarily plans each piece carefully, but in the heat of his frustration after losing an entire morning’s work, he decided to just put a piece of wood on the lathe and improvise.  This persistent crack, which ran much deeper than Max believed it would, was the cause.  I circled it in pen for your convenience, did ultimately lead Max to something fruitful–you might say that a bowl slipped through.

0203_ITE_Switch

The ITE switch was used to be installed at the UArts woodshops, but it was moved to NextFab this year.  On the first day of every June, Albert throws it into the “ON” position, summoning the residents from the ether, and it is then taped and locked firmly in place.

0205_Woods

Mulberry, paduak and wenge in NextFab’s lumber cage.

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Furniture pieces in storage at NextFab.

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It seems that someone at NextFab was expecting Max.

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Lathed up and ready to turn!

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The laser cutter at work on something for Megan.

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Daniel’s work station in the process of being set up.

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Max, with great prescience, has labeled this chunk of wood with the name of one of my favorite Cat Stevens songs.

Dorm Life–Dinner Party Edition

Below, please find a small glimpse of the recreational lives and eating habits of the Windgate ITE 2017 residents.

Table_1

Communal eating space at the dorms is at a premium (see lower left corner)…

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…so Jason fashions a table out of a chair and a dresser drawer.  Hummus and baby carrots are served.

Jason_dance

Jason dances for the camera, real slow.  This is a euphemism for nothing.  Due to the dim lighting conditions which prevailed in the room, I was forced to make a longer exposure than optimal.  I asked Jason to decelerate his movements so that he wouldn’t appear as a total blur.  In the foreground, Anastasia assesses her asparagus.

Jess_Disco

The Disco Lamp is activated, and the party commences in earnest.

More louped film

I’m going to begin scanning the film properly this week, but for now, please accept these warped images as harbingers of things to come!

Anastasia_Rasp

Anastasia uses a rasp.

Cardboard_Man

Jason lives in a world very much like our own, except everything in it is made from cardboard.

Jason_Turning

Jason turns cardboard on a lathe in a cardboard room.

Felcia_Turning

Felicia turns wood on the lathe.

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Another view of Felicia turning wood on the lathe.

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Felicia at work on her notebook.

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In the middle distance, Max turns wood on the lathe with Felicia at work on her notebook in the background.  Max’s piece “Freedom of Speech” sits atop a pike on the table in the foreground.

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Turning tools and your dutiful scribe’s feet.

Daniel_Turning

Daniel turning wood on the lathe.

Rescue_Operation

Jason and Daniel endeavor to rescue a bowl.

Felicia_Sanding

Felicia sands an open ended vessel while watching the rescue attempt.

Albert_Daniel

The first of Albert’s weekly studio visits to NextFab.

Megan_Laser_1

Megan removes a piece of laser cut wood from the laser cutter.

Work_Station

A workstation still life.

At last, some 35mm film that isn’t all warped and distorted because it was shot on a light table through a loupe with an iPhone!

I dropped off a couple rolls of 35mm slide film last week and today they were ready!

Swan

There’s a stoneworking shed right outside the door of Furness Hall, where we’re all living.  Every morning, I greet this swan (and the swan greets me).

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Phil Brown and Barbara Wolanin’s beautiful home.

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Flowers on the table at Phil and Barbara’s beautiful home.

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Jason relaxes on the couch at Phil and Barbara’s

Megan_Floor

Megan lies under the table at Phil and Barbara’s.

Phil_Piles

Phil amongst his stacks of wood.

Turned_Wood

Turned wood from Phil and Barbara’s collection.

Megan_Car

Megan in the ITE van.

Anastasia_Pool

Anastasia at the Kaplans’.

Kalan_composition

Pieces from the Kaplans’ collection.

At last, some 35mm!

I went to the darkroom at UArts yesterday and developed the first batch of film.  I’d like to reiterate how much I like their facilities and how lucky I am to be working there this summer.  Below, please find a teaser of things to come–real 35mm black and white film photographs (albeit photographed on a light table through a loupe with an iPhone):

Lightning

The group tours NextFab.

Luncheon

The luncheon before Echo Lake.

Phil_Brown_Workshop

Phil Brown in his workshop.

Daniel_Chair

Daniel in a comfy wooden chair.

Fleur_Group

Visiting private collections in D.C.

Arthur_Mason

Arthur Mason.

Doggy

Arthur Mason’s dog.

Anastasia

Anastasia at the Kaplans’.

Rectangle_Triangle

Triangular and rectangular forms, again.

Phil_Barbara_Jason

Teenagers these days and their phones…

Jason_Max

Jason and Max with frozen margaritas.

Where_Going

Where could these wood turners be headed in such a hurry?

Beer

Oh, it’s a beer wholesaler.

Felicia_Forms_2

Felicia stacking forms for forming felt onto.

Discussion

Megan, Max, and Felicia talk through setting up the workshop.

Jason_Cake

Jason makes a cardboard cake.

Max_Turnin

Max turning.

Felicia_Turnin

Felicia turning.

Anastasia_Turnin

Anastasia turning.

Jason_Works

Jason at work.

Megan

Megan jointing.

Max_Sparks

Max sparking.

Felicia_Marc_Log

Felicia and Marc from NextFab segment a log.

Shavings

Shavings!

Scribe

Your diligent scribe.

Visiting private collections of wood and craft art in Washington, D.C.

After the Echo Lake conference, the group went to Washington D.C., where I rejoined them.  We were extraordinarily fortunate to stay in the home of woodturner Phil Brown and Dr. Barbara Wolanin, who received us with extraordinary grace and ran us into the ground with a punishing itinerary of visits to private wood art collections, punctuated by delicious meals.  We young people were quickly depleted but Phil and Barbara showed no signs of fatigue and we were duly humbled.  A selection of pictures of the pieces of greatest interest to your faithful scribe follows:

Grainers

At the Grainers’ spacious home.

Paints

A ceramic “cardboard box” full of “acrylic paints.”

Window

Well integrated art encountered during our second collection visit.

Condiments

Condiments.

Geese

Geese.

Whoa

The medicine cabinet.

Dali1

A surprising Dali!

Table

Your faithful scribe finds himself once more in that most familiar of places (under a table).

Group_Point

At Jane and Arthur Mason’s–Arthur pointing out favorite pieces to the group.

Arthur

Arthur Mason.

Arthur_Cabinet

Arthur Mason shows us more of his favorites.

Feet

A sculpture by Jane Mason.

Wood_guys

Jeff Bernstein, Phil Brown, and Jason talk about turned wood.

Max_Barbara

Judy Chernoff and Max talk about turned wood.

Leaf_Fish

Jeff Bernstein.

Snacks

Snacks are served at Judy and Jeffrey’s.

Drunks

A couple of drunks at Deena and Jerry Kaplan’s.

boats

Model ships.

Egg_Mirror_selfie.jpg

Your faithful scribe catches sight of himself in a mirror.

Yoga

A multipurpose gallery and yoga space.

Triangle_Square

Triangular and quadrangular forms.

Daniel_Sleeping

The strain of all this art viewing has gotten to Daniel!

Echo Lake XIX

Last weekend, following a luncheon held at the Center for Art in Wood for current and alumni Windgate ITE residents, the group headed to Bucks County, PA for the 19th Echo Lake Conference, an annual exercise in collaborative artmaking between thirty to forty artists of various disciplines (wood turners, wood carvers, furniture makers, painters, glass, and metal workers).  Unfortunately, I was unable to join them there, because I was scuttling all over the eastern seaboard like a bug.

At my request, the residents did send me pictures from Echo Lake, but provided no context and will not speak of the conference in my presence except in hushed tones while huddling their heads together.  I gather that some terribly exciting, clandestine things happened–possibly some high political or international intrigue?–but since no one will say a darned thing to me about it, I can only speculate about events there using these images as my guide:

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The conference takes place in this panoramically curving warehouse full of work benches and heavy equipment.

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ITE residents Felicia and Daniel and other conference participants smile conspiratorially into the camera.

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Anastasia attacks a chair with an orbital sander.

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Jason writes a secret message to Daniel, using this bowl he has just turned for cover, in pencil.

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Collaborative block prints and detail images of the same.  Do these pictograms form some kind of pictorial code?  (Make your best guesses in the comments!)

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A collaboration between Anastasia and Daniel–a musical chair!  This instrument is not a typical one for Daniel–usually, the instruments that Daniel builds do not have strings, and when they do, those strings are close to 30′ long.   These strings look to be no longer than 12-16″, and since the are all nailed in place, it seems like tuning them would be quite the chore.

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Anastasia finds and befriends the “tiny kitten behind the curtain”–though unassuming in appearance, this little lion pulls all the strings at Echo Lake–and unravels sweaters and balls of yarn and chases flies and laser pointers, too.

Daniel, Anastasia, Felicia, Max, and Jason, if I am mistaken in any of my guesses, I hope you will correct me in the comments.

My next post will return to the realm of factual reporting.  I’ll be uploading pictures from our visits to private collections of turned wood in D.C.–stay tuned!