woodworking

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Craft

Unique Knots From Dozens of Different Trees are Showcased in a Hand-Built Geodesic Sphere

November 15, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Keith Williams (previously) has a knack for wowing viewers with his time-lapse woodworking videos. One of Williams’ recent projects entailed using offcuts that contain knots. In his hands, the geodesic dome becomes a multi-faceted showcase for the unique patterns, colors, and textures formed by these organic irregularities.

“In the 27 years of my woodworking business, I have never thrown away a knot,” Williams tells Colossal. “Many people see knots as a defect, but to me knots are the visual representation of a trees struggle to thrive. Not all little limbs become big branches, but their combined efforts on behalf of the tree as a whole should be celebrated.”

Step inside Williams’ Oddball Gallery workshop and see more in-progress projects on his YouTube channel.

 

 

 



Design

Little Tree Library: A Clever Twist on the Donation-Based Community Library Gives New Life to a Big Old Stump

January 7, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Thanks to the nonprofit Little Free Library, chances are you have encountered a small house-like structure on a public thoroughfare, with a front door that opens to allow passersby to give or take a free book. The program exists in 88 countries, with over 75,000 registered Little Free Libraries. In addition to the goodwill-fueled, donation-based libraries, one of the charms is that each one is customized. Many sport unique paint jobs or even entirely off-the-wall architecture, like the Swedish flag-bedecked Library in the shape of a water tower, which pays homage to the real structure, a beloved fixture in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago.

One family in Idaho took their Library design to the next level with a “Little Tree Library,” carved out of a 110-year-old cottonwood tree stump on their property. Sharalee Armitage Howard, you’ll not be surprised to learn, works as a librarian and previously studied bookbinding, according to her Facebook profile. She spearheaded the complex installation on her front lawn, including dentils that, upon closer inspection, are actually miniature books complete with titles. The Library also features interior and exterior lighting, to give the space an extra-homey glow, as well as a “roof” over the top of the stump to help prevent its weathering away.

KREM, the local news station in Coeur d’Alene made a video (below) to give those outside the small town a closer look at the Howard’s new addition. You can find a Little Free Library near you on the organization’s website, which also offers premade kits if you don’t have any large stumps on hand.

 

 



Craft Design

Time-Lapse Video of Woodworker Keith Williams Shows How Flat Plywood Boards Become Smooth Patterned Spheres

January 7, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Woodworker Keith Williams of Oddball Gallery in Minier, Illinois creates geodesic spheres that balance math and art. Each sculptural form is created from 170 wood triangles that are then hand-assembled into 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons. Next these shapes are glued together into an angular 180-sided ball that is placed onto a lathe and transformed into a completely smooth sphere.

As Williams removes approximately 1/4″ of wood, natural rings from the plywood are brought to the surface, covering the final piece in a dizzying array of concentric circles. You can watch a behind-the-scenes look at how these objects are made in the video above. Take more peeks into the Oddball Studio on Williams’ website and YouTube. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Art

Artist Transforms a Fallen Redwood Tree into A Gigantic Eight-Tentacle Sea Creature

September 25, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Washington-based woodcarver Jeffrey Michael Samudosky has been creating elaborate figural works from a variety of Pacific Northwest trees since he started his company JMS Wood Sculpture in 1998. One of his most recent projects is a replica of an Enteroctopus dofleini, or Giant Pacific Octopus, carved from a fallen Redwood given to him by Redwood Burl. The cephalopod’s tentacles curve and twist their way across areas which Samudosky left natural, including the entire back of the trunk which gives the illusion that the octopus is on top of the tree, rather than a part of it.

Samudosky has previously carved deep sea diving helmets, rams, and bears twice his size. You can explore more of the self-taught woodworker’s pieces on his website and Facebook. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Design

Tiny Reclaimed Wood Cabins That Appear Plucked From the Pages of Dr. Seuss

August 3, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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Dan Pauly builds guest cottages, playhouses, garden sheds, and saunas all appearing to be perfectly suited for an enchanted forest. The small, asymmetrical buildings have a long slanted roof, crooked chimney, and charming front window with built-in flower box. Each cabin designed by Pauly and his company The Rustic Way is built with reclaimed wood, each piece restored to reflect its natural weathered condition.

Pauly’s woodworking history goes back four generations, back to the 1800s when his family emigrated to the US and built several barns in Minnesota (some of which are still standing). This history is embedded into Pauly’s fascination with reclaimed wood. “As I uncover an old barn or shed,” Pauly says, “I realize that it could be the same lumber that my great-grandfather used more than 100 years ago. I think that respect for the craftsmen and craftswomen of the past, and for the wood they used, make a difference in each new piece I create.”

You can see more of Pauly’s cabins on The Rustic Way’s Facebook page. (via Twisted Sifter)

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Design Music

San Francisco-Based Company Builds Guitars From Recycled Skateboard Decks

July 28, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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Nick Pourfard is 22-year-old artist, musician, and skateboarder currently combing his multiple talents into one package: guitars built from reclaimed skateboard decks. The San Francisco-based industrial design student taught himself woodworking to tackle the project which he branded as Prisma Guitars. Each instrument is 100% handmade and composed of skateboards that have been used or broken.

Recently, Pourfard had the honor of building a piece for Steve Harris of Iron Maiden. Pourfard explains, “I took every detail of his playing style and aesthetic into consideration. The bass has an off-white painted alder back with skate top featuring colors as close to West Ham as possible. I laser cut a custom mirror pickguard and bound the whole body in black and white to pay homage to his classic original bass.”

You can donate your own used or broken skateboards to Pourfard before they make their way into a landfill here. (via fubiz)

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