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Text and sketches by Amy Forsyth, 2019 Sketch Artist

The first half of this past week we were very productive. Everyone dashed about, carved, cut, shaped, turned, painted, drew, etc. And then, there was July 4 and 5, when the entire building, including the wood shop, was closed. Many of us took this opportunity to visit with friends and family, go sight seeing, and rest for a bit.

Per creates a mountain of ash dowels using the router table

Here’s a little collection of sketches showing what Ellie has been doing. She’s taken offcuts from her other projects and created colorful assemblages of them, layering paint and textures. She’s also been doing some studies using unusual materials, such as casting dowels in straws in epoxy and turning the works on the lathe using the sander to shape it. That’s still in progress. It’s been interesting to see the contrast between her madcap explorations and Heide’s crisp and intentional, almost scientific approach to exploring materials. They sit next to one another in the room across the hall away from the woodshop. Jacob has joined them in there, and is also doing some material explorations, casting concrete.

The Drake, which looms over our dorm, and a page of Ellie and her delightful studies.

Here’s Heide, doing some investigations into paint.

In the meantime, Josh continues to work with some steam bent ash, while also continuing his sculpture-a-day project. He’s been pretty good about staying on schedule.

Hartmut has been unbelievably productive, he always has a new project at hand. Either his collection of small carvings he calls his “Diary in Wood,” or a larger piece is going at any time. He’s carved this beautiful curving fabric-like piece.

Hartmut’s wooden cloth and a consulttion between Per and Don Miller.


Through it all, our stalwart shop director, Tara, keeps it all going, from maintaining the machinery to providing advice and materials, she’s the heart of the wood shop. Here she is, lurking in her “cave.”

A catalog of Josh’s pieces to date, and a drawing of Tara

In addition to my sketches, I also have been working on some bigger, more finished drawings. I took a series of photos at one of the collectors’ magnificent houses and did a series of sketches to decide which one to turn into a finished drawing. Here are the sketches, followed by the drawing.

Since the building was closed over July 4 and 5, we all scattered. Visits from family, family reunions, trips to New York City, were on the agenda. I went back to my rural home in Berks County and took Hartmut with me. We went swimming at some friends’ house, to a July 4 party, and to a concert at a local brewery. And don’t you know, he managed to make three of his lovely little carvings for his “Diary in Wood” in those two days.