Turning Wood: Picton’s Fine Folk Furniture – Picton Gazetteunknown

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“I think of craft as a community and a healthier approach to consumption.”

Katrina Tompkins is a maker of fine folk furniture. Inspired by early Canadian, Mennonite, and Shaker furniture styles, her simple, elegant, and highly functional furniture designs are crafted in her workshop in Picton using locally sourced wood. Masu. When we met, she had just returned from participating in “Creating a Seat at the Table: Women Transform Woodworking” at the Center for Art in Wood in Philadelphia.

Today, she’s teaching me how to turn wood on a lathe, but before we get to that point, I’m wearing safety gear and hearing horror stories from the real shop. We’re talking about dying on a lathe. I am not joking.

After the demonstration, she allowed me to pick up a chisel and begin turning the wood “in circles” while spinning a piece of poplar wood at 700 rpm on the lathe.

“Keep it moving. Place one hand on the tool rest. Keep the chisel at the correct angle. Use the top line as a guide as the wood rotates.” Watching the wood chips fly and twirl is spectacular. . I’m overjoyed. However, when you turn off the lathe, you will get a slightly lumpy lump. It is not easy.

Tompkins studied at Sheridan College and honed his skills and eye as an apprentice to some of Canada’s best furniture makers. “Look at this spindle bed model that I make for a customer.” It has a simple design, with a tall headboard of long, rotating spindles on square columns. But let’s look a little closer. “The spindles are set at an angle, so it’s both comfortable and functional for reading or working while sitting in bed.” The full-size bed has 22 of his rotating spindles. Each one takes about an hour to make. In total, it will take him 60 hours to complete.

I went back to the lathe and was able to “round” the poplar, so I’m adding some details. We use different chisels to carve curves and grooves. Rather than “designing” it, it’s an opportunity to feel how each tool interacts with wood. This is very physical and requires stance, posture, arm position, and most of all, concentration.

My work is not “pretty”. Katrina cut a hole in the top and, to her partner’s horror, it now sits on the mantle with a candle inside.

“All craft skills are in danger of being lost because as technology advances, the perception of their value is changing. To appreciate handmade items rather than mass-produced, such value must be We need people with a perspective.” That’s why Katrina is introducing workshops. As she says, not everyone can afford a handmade chair, but they can find value in a handmade chair. “It’s equally rewarding to give people the skills to explore their own creativity and go away with a deeper understanding of how things are made and their own bodies. Making and the body are deeply connected. It’s connected.”

visit finefolk.ca.

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