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Raised the son of a shipwright in southern Alaska, Lael Gordon was always comfortable with tools and machinery. He chose a teaching career, but took up woodworking as a hobby. As he got more serious about working wood, he took a year away from teaching to study furniture making at the Inside Passage School, a program near Vancouver based on James Krenov’s teachings. While there, Gordon began experimenting with what he calls “prismatics”–marquetry patterns created not in the usual manner, by using contrasting species of veneer, but simply by controlling and arranging the orientation of the grain in pieces of veneer of a single species.
After his year at Inside Passage, Gordon considered a career making furniture. But he recognized that the joy for him lay in making an exploration of each piece he built; rather than struggle against that impulse in order to make money, he decided to go back to teaching math at a technical college and devote his spare time and summers to new work in wood.
This slide show presents a series of Gordon’s explorations in embellishment.
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I'm so impressed with this ability. I love to read as many Fine Woodworking articles as I can to give me hope that some day I will have found my niche. Absolutely beautiful work.
Have just finished reading Krenov's 'Notebook'..He would have been so pleased his philosophy continues.
Outstanding! What attention to detail.
Subtlety masterfully applied...
I loved the "live edge" branch incorperated into the panel.
I thought his work was amazing is some woodworker
Truly amazing work. I wouldn't have thought of using end grain veneer. Thanks for sharing this.
The use of wood's lustre and the meticulous creation of a pattern from small parts reminds me of the work of Minneapolis' Tom Schrunk: http://www.thomasschrunk.com/page48/page48.html
Perhaps long, cold winters encourage this type of labor-intensive woodworking!
Master woodworking artist at the very least.... very impressive indeed. Tks. for this post. It's so refreshing to see new styles and different woodworking techniques.
So cool. Thanks for posting this.
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In this video Michael finishes the first of the three boxes. Gluing-up, planing, sanding and finishing bring a new piece of art to the world.
In this video Michael starts work on the second box, a carved and painted Saddle lid box.
Michael begins carving the saddle lid box with his ripple pattern along the top. Then turns to his 5/30 gouge to texture the sides of the box. This isn't work…
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