Check it out... in Fine Woodworking

I'm not sure if it is out in stores yet, but for those of you who subscribe to Fine Woodworking magazine (as I do), you may have noticed that one of my pieces was included in the February 2015 issue.  The piece, 60th Sideboard, is part of the Reader's Gallery section of the magazine.

How this piece came to be featured in the magazine was particularly gratifying in that Fine Woodworking magazine, or rather a person from the magazine, contacted me and asked if I would consider letting them use this piece in the Reader's Gallery.  Typically, one would submit work unsolicited, but the fact that my work was sought out by such a well known magazine was...well...pretty fine.

If you don't get the chance to see the print version (which I'd recommend as it's sexier than the online version), here's a link to the online version at Fine Woodworking's website, which includes the short write-up. 

Echo and Narcissus

I recently completed this mirror and wall cabinet, named Echo and Narcissus. They are made of black walnut and Douglas-Fir and both feature curved elements.  

The front face and doors of the wall cabinet, Echo, are curved.  I made the curved doors by gluing up a 5-layer core of shop-sawn veneers over a curved form, alternating the grain direction of each ply. Then I pressed decorative Douglas-Fir veneers onto the outside and inside faces of each door.

The mirror, Narcissus, has a curved "crown" with decorative Douglas-Fir veneer.  The process for this crown was slightly different.  Using the same curved form, I glued up a 5-layer core of shop sawn veneers.  Because the crown would be contained somewhat by the black walnut above and below, I didn't alternate the grain direction of the plies.  Once the core was laid up, I pressed the decorative Douglas-Fir face veneer to the outside face.    

New Article by Mike Korsak

the cover of the journal, which features a woodworking article written by mike

the cover of the journal, which features a woodworking article written by mike

Earlier this spring I wrote an article about how I shaped the curved legs for my Walnut Cabinet. The article was published in The Journal of the Guild of New Hampshire Woodworkers and is available to view by clicking on the image at right.

In the article, I describe the entire process of making the curved legs, from design to final shaping.  

Why did I design this piece with curved legs?  Because the curves lend a nice bit of elegance and refinement.  And it's another way to add a level of individuality and personality to my work.  Breaking out of the rectilinear and into more curvaceous forms is important to me as a furniture maker.  I hope the article provides insight into the process.

Happy reading!

In Time Awarded Honorable Mention

In Time, this curvy clock made of figured cherry and rosewood, was awarded Honorable Mention at Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2014.

In Time was one of only 122 pieces selected from nearly 1,800 entries.  The clock's unique design is accented by many curved elements and four small, vertically arranged drawers hidden behind a coopered door.  

In it’s 47th year, Art of the State is recognized as the official, statewide juried competition for Pennsylvania artists. Presented at The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Art of the State has established a tradition of exhibiting highly creative art chosen by a distinguished panel of jurors. 

Walnut and Maple Cabinet

I recently finished this cabinet and wanted to post some pictures. It is made of black walnut and maple (birds eye and curly), with a bit of East Indian rosewood used for the decorative beads.

The design started from a sketch, and I worked on it in CAD and then moved to full-scale drawings. I spent a lot of time working out the details, such as the top panels of crotch walnut that flank the single drawer, the mother of pearl inlay, the fixed stile to the left of the door. I also spent a fair amount of time on the curved legs – designing curves that were subtle, yet graceful. After many iterations on paper, I made a full size leg template which allowed for further refinement, and doubled as a pattern for shaping the legs later on.

To achieve the curves in the legs, I heated the bottom portion of the legs with steam then bent them over a form, a process called steam bending. After a week or more of drying, I shaped the legs to the template, starting with the bandsaw to rough out the shape, then refining with hand planes and spokeshaves.