A blog devoted to professional aspects of design
and engineering applied to the art of fine woodworking.


July 15, 2017

Carving Foliage: I Finished That, and Now It's Summer Besides

I finished my carving project mid-May, and published its conclusion elsewhere. So I thought I'd take some time to wrap that up here, and move on to new activity that's keeping me busy this summer.

I wrote a synopsis of the carving project that you can read here. It effectively summarizes the project in story form with lots of photos and images to visually describe the processes I used. The project itself achieved my goals in that I have the ability to design and create freehand carved foliage objects in a way appropriate to the projects I do that could also give those projects an additional sense of personal identity.

I want this summer to be a bit more about bicycling than the past few have been, and to that end I purchased and assembled a bike I found online. I've used this source in the past, and have had good luck with them. I have too much personally invested in the frame-up builds I've done in the past to risk their theft, so I thought it would be good to have a bike on hand for general commuting, and not have to care so much about its well being in the city. Problem is, I heavily modified it of course, using both parts I had from previous projects along with strategically purchased new parts.

You can see the end result of that effort in the photo here.

As if that wasn't enough, I purchased a new lens for my take-around Nikon digital SLR camera, a Nikkor 35mm f/1.8g lens. My goal is to have it out on the new bike, get photos of whatever I find interesting, and while in the process learn more about photography and how to take better photos.

The new bike photo here was taken while out on just such a ride.

Otherwise, the church where the first cabinet organ I built is closing, and I've been asked to be a potential part of whatever solution that unfortunate situation might present. The shop is very capable of building a new organ from repurposed material derived from the existing organ should that be proposed as a solution. Existing pipe organs are often redesigned to fit the needs and space of a new owner where use of the original material reduces project cost. This organ in fact had its roots in repurposed material, so it would be perfectly in line with its origins if that were to happen again.


So there's that to consider, and along those lines, I rewrote my website to present information relevant to what I'm doing now, and have done as an organ builder in the past, in a way that I think more accurately reflects who I am.

The new site has that entrepreneurial industrial arts maker look that's happening now, a look that also reflects the often times divergent point of view I've always taken with regard to the organ. The organ is too often viewed more in line with an item of furniture rather than a musical instrument rich in diversified tonal resources and history.

Now I'm not even close to being a professional web developer, so the new website may seem a bit crude. Therefore if anyone knows a web-dev student who might want to get some portfolio experience, send that person my way. It could be an exciting project.

As a builder, I look at the pipe organ as one would look at a custom made guitar or high-end carbon frame bicycle. It's not so much about the object itself as much as it is about what you would do with it after it's acquired that counts, how you would use it to creatively accomplish a set of goals, and how you would develop new experiences from using it. To me, the organ is, or can be that.

So for now at least, that's what's going on this summer.

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