Masters of the Craft

Masters of the Craft

Lael Gordon: Prismatic Patterns

comments (11) June 17th, 2013 in blogs

JonBinzen Jon Binzen, senior editor
thumbs up 35 users recommend

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.


posted in: blogs, slideshow, masters of the craft, lael gordon

Comments (11)

SueLS SueLS writes: 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.
Posted: 8:47 am on July 7th

pizzicato pizzicato writes: Have just finished reading Krenov's 'Notebook'..He would have been so pleased his philosophy continues.
pizzicato (Australia)
Posted: 8:00 pm on July 6th

Seenya Seenya writes: Outstanding! What attention to detail.
Posted: 6:58 pm on July 6th

DonBo DonBo writes: Subtlety masterfully applied...
Posted: 1:06 pm on July 6th

SNations SNations writes: I loved the "live edge" branch incorperated into the panel.
Posted: 12:55 pm on July 6th

JavTheJackal JavTheJackal writes: Wow!
Posted: 11:25 am on July 6th

Batts Batts writes: I thought his work was amazing is some woodworker
Posted: 8:58 am on July 6th

mrmmike mrmmike writes: Truly amazing work. I wouldn't have thought of using end grain veneer. Thanks for sharing this.

Posted: 8:42 am on July 6th

moscowfield moscowfield writes: 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:
Perhaps long, cold winters encourage this type of labor-intensive woodworking!

Posted: 8:27 am on July 6th

plcon plcon writes: 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.
Posted: 7:23 am on July 6th

JeffB JeffB writes: So cool. Thanks for posting this.
Posted: 8:43 am on June 23rd

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