videos

7 More Gigs “In The Can”

A few weeks ago Chris Swecker and I spent anther couple days documenting the ongoing construction of a pair of Gragg Chairs I am building for clients, one a renowned furniture historian in Virginia and the other a historic architectural millwork contractor in Georgia.   (These clients have been most patient with the timeline of this project, which is why I have not made them pay anything until the chairs are delivered.)  Neither my bank account nor the other ongoing projects I have permit any faster pace of work, and we had to take a 5-month break over the winter due to the unheated-ness of the studio space.

As we were working the chairs began to take shape beyond merely the jumbled pile of steam bent parts.  Actually they were never really “jumbled,” but they were not truly assembled either.  It was exciting for Chris to see these former tree parts become chair-ish right before the camera.  Beginning with the dry assembled side elements I laid out the side rungs and chopped the mortises and cut the tenons.   Then I resembled the side units with screws and glue, just as Gragg had done 200 years before.

Then came perhaps the most visually appealing portion of the project to date as the two sides were connected with the lateral horizontal elements, becoming something that sorta looked like a chair.  This required a bucket full of spring clamps and a few diagonal struts to keep things in the right configuration while moving forward.

By the time the two days were done we had another 7 gigabytes of video recorded.  We are working so efficiently that I expect a yield of usable video to raw recording to be about 60%.  In reviewing the completed materials I am thinking the finished product to be in the 10-12 hour range.

“Make A Gragg Chair” Video Continued

A couple weeks ago we had two excellent days of videoing for my Make A Gragg Chair video.  As my pal MikeM observed, doing video slows everything down by at least three-fold.

We are now to the point of actually assembling the pile of bentwood pieces into a chair, beginning with the sides of the chair in an assembly jig (after attaching the side rungs via mortising them into the legs) and then starting to fit the cross elements.

One thing is for sure, it’s pretty important to have a large number of simple spring clamps and temporary bracing to keep everything together.

This is a really exciting project for me, and my earlier projections are falling by the wayside regarding the length and detail of the final product.  I’m sorta guessing this might be in the 10-12 hour range once we get all finished.

I am also getting a better sense of how to create a six-day workshop for making Gragg chairs.  I just might be able to pull it off.  When the video is finished I’m going to embark on a focused exercise to see if it is truly possible.

Stay tuned.

Gragg Chair Video Production Resumes

It was an exciting day in the Attic Studio of the Barn on White Run as we finally returned to working on recoding the video of making a Gragg chair.  We began the day with a pile of individual steam bent parts, and ended with some assembled side units.  It is not “precision” work but it is very fussy to compile a completed unit from a bunch curvy pieces that each seem to have a mind of its own.  I placed particular emphasis on the areas where I executed compensations for the flaws in the original design.

Tomorrow the adventure continues as I show the beginnings of a 3D chair that has nothing square about it.

If all goes according to plan the “principal filming” for the fabrication phase will be done in about two weeks (see how I went all Hollywood there?), with painted decoration and the special added video feature to add on.

PS  – we are thinking that the final video will be in the 6-8 hour range; I would rather err on the side of more information and demonstration rather than less.

Veneer Repair Video Episode 6

Our adventure continues, notwithstanding some technical glitches on my end (a self-flattering version of “I forgot how to do this!”) Actually the new WordPress template is a pain in the kiester, but fortunately Webmeister Tim managed to restore the previous version.  That is the best explanation I have for why it took months to get the next one posted.  I was simply too stoopid/ignorant/technophobic/compewderily iliterate to figure out how to do it in the “new and improved” platform template, and also why my blogging had declined.  It was just too miserable trying to figure it out.  At this point I have almost negative interest in learning new skills, I’m just trying to keep my existing skills intact.

Crossing my fingers hard.  It worked for me in the “preview” and I am hoping it works for you.

In this episode I cover the process of matching the veneer being used for the repair to the veneer that remains adjacent to the loss.

 

PS – Spring has sprung so video production resumes next week!

 

If your conscience is pricked feel free to click on the “Donate” button, any proceeds from which will go toward enhancing the rapidity of new video production. Future videos will also be available for purchase one section at a time (perhaps $0.99 – $1.99 per segment depending on the video) or $15(?) for the complete product. I am still noodling that and working out the logistics with Webmaster Tim. If this interests a large enough audience I hope to produce three or four 2-hour-ish videos per year. If not, maybe one or two at the most, one being more likely. In which case it will take me almost twenty years to get through the list I have already.

 

 

A Collaborator Goes “On-Line”

My video production collaborator Chris Swecker has created a web site to market his new-ish venture, Seed and Fruit Media. If you are in the Mid-Atlantic region and would like to explore video as an element for your work, Chris is an excellent option. He is especially great at seat-of-the-pants production, and I find him a delight to work with and the final product is exactly what I wanted; whimsical broadcast quality footage.

Chris definitely has the chops for first-class work. He spent a decade out in Realityville working on big-time projects, and fortunately for me he has come back home to the place where he was raised.

We will be resuming filming the Make A Gragg Chair video early next month once the weather warms a bit. This was a bitterly cold winter, so shooting in the unheated attic of the Barn was not an option.

BTW I hope to post the next episode of the Veneer Repair video on Saturday.

PS Imagine the possible communication confusion when two of your closest collaborators are both named “Chris S.”

Veneer Repair Video Episode 4


Our series continues with an episode focusing on the tools needed and the set-up for making visually harmonious veneer repairs to losses.




If your conscience is pricked feel free to click on the “Donate” button, any proceeds from which will go toward enhancing the rapidity of new video production.

Future videos will also be available for purchase one section at a time (perhaps $0.99 – $1.99 per segment depending on the video) or $15(?) for the complete product.  I am still noodling that and working out the logistics with Webmaster Tim.  If this interests a large enough audience I hope to produce three or four 2-hour-ish videos per year.  If not, maybe one or two at the most, one being more likely.  In which case it will take me almost twenty years to get through the list I have already.




Veneer Repair Video Episode 3

You can find the background on this initial offering by Barn Attic Productions/Seed and Fruit Media here.  I am working on getting an archive for all these videos on the site.  Be patient with me, I am of an age and disposition that I still expect flames to shoot out of the compewder if  I hit the wrong key.

In this episode of my recitation and demonstration of the techniques I use to undertake sensitive veneer repairs — sensitive to the artifacts, not your feelings —  such that the compensation (that’s museum-ese for “repair”) is visual harmonious while leaving the maximum of the artifact fabric intact, I demonstrate my low-intensity method for cutting my own veneers on a bench-top bandsaw.  I use this method frequently for a variety of applications, whether I need that one special piece of figured veneer for a repair or if I am cranking out veneer strips for doing French parquetry.


If your conscience is pricked by viewing this for no cost feel free to click on the “Donate” button, any proceeds from which will go toward enhancing the rapidity of producing new videos.  For those of you who have already shown that generous spirit, I am deeply appreciative.




Veneer Repair Video Segment 2

You can find the background on this initial offering by Barn Attic Productions/Seed and Fruit Media here along with the first episode.

In this episode of my recitation and demonstration of the techniques I use to undertake sensitive veneer repairs — sensitive to the artifacts, not your feelings —  such that the compensation (that’s museum-ese for “repair”) is visual harmonious while leaving the maximum of the artifact fabric intact, I demonstrate and discuss the importance of three things: grain, grain, and grain.


If your conscience is pricked by viewing this for no cost feel free to click on the “Donate” button, any proceeds from which will go toward enhancing the rapidity of producing new videos.  For those of you who have already shown that generous spirit, I am deeply appreciative.




 

 

Veneer Repair Video Part 1 (apologies for the autoplay, we’re working on it)

 

The first product being offered the Barn on White Run video empire, which I introduced earlier, is an almost two hour tutorial on museum-quality veneer repair (in the museum world we use the term “damage compensation” for what you might call “repair”) using the techniques I learned and developed over the past four decades.  The video en toto is divided into thirteen sections, and one will be uploaded every week if all goes well.

Since this is our initial effort, and was itself an intense learning experience, I have decide to make this complete video available for free.  This is not a mere amusement or hobby, I am hiring a gifted professional (Chris Swecker) to produce them, and as good as I am at schmoozing he insists on getting paid for his work!  Harrumph.  I am determined that together we will produce the best professional, broadcast quality videos we can out here in the wilds of the Virginia mountains.  The pace of their development is directly tied to the intersection of three things; my schedule, Chris’ schedule, and the barn’s bank account.




If your conscience is pricked feel free to click on the “Donate” button, any proceeds from which will go toward enhancing the rapidity of new video production.

Future videos will also be available for purchase one section at a time (perhaps $0.99 – $1.99 per segment depending on the video) or $15(?) for the complete product.  I am still noodling that and working out the logistics with Webmaster Tim.  If this interests a large enough audience I hope to produce three or four 2-hour-ish videos per year.  If not, maybe one or two at the most, one being more likely.  In which case it will take me almost twenty years to get through the list I have already.




Intro To The Donsbarn.com Video Empire

One of the exciting developments at The Barn on White Run in recent months has been our ongoing embrace of video as a teaching device to share what I’m doing with you. Here is the introductory video “blurb” to give you a hint as to where we will be going over the coming months and years (depending on my health, wealth, and wits). My long-term plan is to produce a completed video over several months, then post a chapter of it on-line, perhaps one per week, until the entire contents are available. Then, move on to the next video until I run out of things to teach and show.

We are this close (fingers 1/64″ apart) to having the first one ready to go.  It’s roughly 110 minutes long, divided into thirteen chapters with the first one appearing some time next week I hope.  Since it is our first effort I will be posting these video chapters for free, but subsequent offerings will have a modest price tag.  More details about that later.

I hope you will find the viewing as enjoyable as I am finding the making.

Introducing the Video Enterprise