Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sam Maloof Rocker, Charles Brock,and Coy, Part 3

Coy got to unveil his rocking chair at the monthly meeting of the Central Oregon Woodworkers, a genial fellowship of craftspeople of all stripes--turners, carvers, generalists, a model maker and restorer, and serious hobbyists. And George, who is so difficult to categorize that we'll have to see a separate blog post after we visit his shop.

It was a riveting moment. All or close to all of these people know a Maloof chair when they see one, though few had heard of Charles Brock or were aware that you could buy digital/print coaching for the construction of one of these works of art. Coy got to share some of his journey, both holding tools and allowing his mind to explore this manifestation of Sam Maloof and his spirit.

In stark and fascinating contrast was a table full of bones--all the parts of my Maloof project were there, but not a single one was attached to another. Next step is the cutting of angles on the headrest, drilling for the spindles, and dry fitting with the back legs temporarily attached to the seat. Oh, the seat, it needs to be shaped too; now it's a rugged landscape of pieces roughed on the bandsaw and far from looking like an inviting place to plunk oneself.

Attendants who are well acquainted with what it takes to get a foursquare piece of wood to become curvilinear and graceful could get a grasp of the hours it would take to go from the relatively easy part of cutting parts to a template to the sinuous sight of the front leg flowing into the arm rest, or the back leg sprouting from the rocker and leafing at the seat, the arm rest and the headrest.

And those rockers! The contrasting maple stacked just so with the walnut. The ebony plugs at the front and back legs. Note the artistic use of sapwood (the white) in the spindles and the seat.

Congratulations, Coy. It's a beauty.

And he wants to build another one.

A newcomer to the group last night was Hans Emmons, who builds and restores models. From his web site I lifted this quotation from Beryl Markham, the 20th century aviatrix who made history as the first person to fly the Atlantic solo from east to west:

"No human pursuit achieves dignity until it can be called work, and when you can experience a physical loneliness for the tools of your trade, you see that other things - the experiments, the irrelevant vocations, the vanities you used to hold – were false to you."


Husband said...

Thanks for sharing Lee. I was recently L.A. at a modern furniture auction and had the pleasure of sitting in a real Maloof rocker, it was like visiting mecca on many levels.

Barkerbass said...

The story here, which yours supports, is that Coy and I were working on the placement of the finished "chair" upon the rockers and we kept experimenting with the number of laminates in the stack. First our thighs were working too hard, then the chair was leaning too far back--easy negative input to process. But when we hit the right combination, it was like instantly sitting on a cloud. Most wonderful project, and thanks for following along. And that TV is still at the ReStore I think...

Husband said...

I did see that tv, it is an RCA table-vision and they want $1500 for it which is far too much. Unfortunatley, despite being the most forward thinking designs, vintage electronics are not worth much. Besides, we have a big monolith of a vintage tv now and it even works, in color!

Barkerbass said...

Yikes, $1500, that's a run-the-other-way price. I had no idea; I just loved the mechanics of the thing.

woodchuck49 said...

Your rocker is splendid. I am so proud you chose my instructional bundle to assist you with the project. You have an eye for great lines as I see from your beautiful basses. Musicians seem to instinctively understand lines and spacial relationships.

Let me know if I can help. I'm going to send your link to a bass player who will just love your work.
Charles Brock