Westward Ho!


My drive west in pursuit of this chair making journey was an enjoyable time. The first image above is a view from the top of a bluff overlooking the Yellowstone river in eastern Montana. And windmills dot the horizon in eastern Washington, below.


After driving 1,800 miles in two days across five states, I landed in Vancouver to spend the day with a couple of good friends, and some new friends, too! We had a great time seeing several woodworking studios, talking shop and comparing notes. I saw a lot of creativity in pursuit of the ideal studio!


Above, you can see one of the many beautiful streets I visited while in Vancouver. What an extraordinary city. Great people, too! Thanks again to all the fine folks who shared their day with me!


Now at the end of the road, I drive onto the ferry, heading for the Sunshine Coast and Inside Passage School of Fine Cabinetmaking.


It's an inspiring place with a bounty of wildlife. Take this yearling bear, for example, who apparently makes daily visits to the bird feeder outside the window of my home-away-from-home. Actually, I saw him this morning as I woke up and again when I returned this evening. I'll try to get a better photo, but this impressionistic image will have to do for now.


Well, according to plan, all this travel culminated in the inevitable first day of chairmaking. Here you can see me beginning to trace an existing template. I'll be making my own set of templates to use in laying out the parts for the chair. As you may recall, I'm making a reproduction of a chair designed around 1970 by Vidar Malmsten, a good friend of James Krenov that he met while living and working in Sweden.


Stay tuned. I'm beginning to realize that the schedule to complete this chair in seven weeks, while learning a lot of new skills, is going to be a real bear. Feel free to cheer me on; I can use all the support I can get!

Until next time, hej då, and happy shavings!



Craig Johnson is a fiscal year 2012 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible in part by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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