13 Sep 2015

Summer Internship #3: Sharp is Sharp

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My final internship for the summer took me to Vermont for a week and half with Garret Hack. I met Garret years ago while taking a weeklong class of his at Kelly Mehler’s and he played an important role in helping me secure some of this summer’s internship possibilities. His farm in Vermont is fantastic, and the interaction that he has with his work, his family, his land and animals, his friends, and colleagues is an inspiration to anyone looking for a role model of how to do what you love and love what you do. Thank you Garret for the opportunity.

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12 Sep 2015

An Interlude… a Quick Project in Charlotte

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After my two weeks with Jon I returned to Charlotte, NC for a week and thanks to one of my close North Carolina Woodworker.net friends, Greg Smith, I had access to a full woodworking shop for a quick project. We needed a stepstool for our new apartment in Boston so I set out to build a version of this stool by Tommy Mac. Inspired by Jon’s use of color and Greg’s willingness to let me experiment with his finishing equipment I decided to spray the completed stool red. Using Greg’s ingenious 2 Fridge box portable spray booth I sprayed two coats of red Transtint dissolved in alcohol and 2 coats of Target water based lacquer also tinted with red. The result was a really pleasing and eye catching bright red:

 

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Thanks Greg for your hospitality, and thanks again to all my fellow woodworkers from North Carolina (Jeremy, Rick, Matt, Bill, Jeff, and many others), who encouraged me to take this leap and try for North Bennet Street.

10 Sep 2015

Summer Internship #2: Squareness is Overrated

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My second internship took me to New Hampshire for two weeks with studio furniture maker Jon Brooks. The type of art Jon creates was a departure for me in that the concepts of “square” and “prepared” lumber that I am used to with cabinetry don’t really exist for his type of work. It was refreshing for me to look at wood and project construction in a new light. One only has to look at the fascinating home that he has built to understand the idea that squareness is overrated.

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08 Sep 2015

Summer Internship #1: Marquetry with a Master

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(image above: Silas Kopf)

My first internship took me to western Massachusetts for a three week introduction to marquetry, and I can think of no one greater to provide me insight into the world of making pictures with wood than Silas Kopf. I met Silas at the Cincinnati airport a few years ago on my way home from attending Woodworking in America. We struck up a conversation and that helped open the door for this three week internship.

So what did I learn? What did I do? What angle does Silas use to cut his bevels? All good questions, but first let me say that my purpose for attempting to intern this summer was twofold. Read more

07 Sep 2015

A Summer of Transition

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The last post detailed the journey and the decision to move to Boston and attend North Bennet Street School. The planning involved for this life changing event had many considerations, the most important of which was when my lovely wife would find a job in the Boston area. As it turns out, she is most incredible and found a job in Boston and started in June. This left me in the unique position of ending my career as a pharmacist a few months early and having a few months off to recover from 24 years in retail (now that’s scary math) and relax and prepare for NBSS. I considered many options: travel, surfing, loafing in Boston, and trying to acquire some woodworking internships. I decided to see what woodworking internships I could muster up and emailed some contacts I had developed over the years taking woodworking classes at schools like Kelly Mehler’s and Marc Adams, and through attending events like Woodworking in America. To my great surprise I ended up with a summer full of incredible opportunities with three world-class woodworkers. My journey was going to take me into the realm of marquetry, wood sculpture, and high end studio furniture with a small bit of farming thrown in for good measure. Up next: details, details…

06 Sep 2015

The Beginning, Part 2

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Hello again, and welcome to Shamrock Wood Studio. I am Michael Mckee, and this is the area of my website where I will chronicle my adventures in the studio on a weekly basis.

Why Part 2? Read more