Spring again?! Airstream Too!
I don’t understand how people have time to write a blog with any kind of regularity. My infrequent entries should in no way imply that I have nothing to say, or an uneventful life. Quite the contrary. Which is why I never seem to find the time. I’ve got plenty to say, but my audience consists mostly of family members, co-workers, and whoever’s working the register at Trader Joes or the lumber yard. They get my best material.
The last 6 months have been…well, eventful? That’s not exactly the right word. We’ve done some great work, and met some incredible people, but we’ve also experienced a lot of personal tragedy in our family, losing several friends and family members in a relatively short period of time. Each loss completely unrelated to the other.
This past Friday morning we lost the father of a very good friend, and my 94 year old grandmother only hours later. Both great people who will be missed, to say the least. I was very close to my grandmother, Delores Snyder. Anytime I was sick she took care of me, and we had lots of road trips together around California. One of my favorite memories was driving to lunch at the Bigfoot Diner in Oakhurst, California, about an hour outside of Yosemite. Growing up in Fresno, it wasn’t too far. We listened to Marty Robbins. I got the foot long chili cheese and wandered around the restaurant looking at newspaper clippings of Bigfoot sightings and plaster castings of footprints. The restaurant isn’t there anymore, but I might drive up there later this week and find a chili dog somewhere else.
We’re starting another Airstream. 1947. I worked a good portion of today creating these renderings. Sundays are great for sitting around listening to music and drawing. Not of the details are here yet, and I have yet to begin the interior, but I’m really looking forward to this project.
I’ll keep you updated as we figure out the interior. If anyone is interested, after we complete this we are considering offering brand new custom replica 1947 Airstreams. Imagine a brand new 1947 Airstream, in any length, with the look of an original, but everything a new trailer has to offer. Pretty cool right? It could be yours!
When we first began discussing this project with our client, they had two words - Modern & Library. They wanted clean lines, and LOTS of room for books. I started off with a handful of basic sketches.
In this version I created drawer and door fronts to look like a card catalog. Eventually we moved in the direction of Mid-Century Modern.
Although we’ve got some changes and details to work out, this is pretty close to the final version.
Once again, Scott just can’t seem to enjoy himself. Check out this cool time lapse video from Bryan Chan and the LA Times (LINK). If you look closely you still can’t see me.
Finally, we’re working on a line of furniture to compliment our popular Original Modern Library Storage Bin. This little work in progress is a bench that holds three of our standard bins. Look for it at our booth at the Rose Bowl next Sunday.
Scenes from Our Woodshop
Although we’ve got a lot of projects going on, and have completed many since my last blog entry, I’ve been to busy to put together a well organized post.
In lieu of something cohesive, here are a bunch of random photos from the shop, mostly taken by Jen Zahigian.
My rare numbered edition Fat Tire Ale Bicycle. Too beautiful to ride everyday.
My next project (pictured above) which pulled up to my shop about 2 weeks ago.
Our last project (will show in greater detail in next post) getting prepared to send to finisher before final assembly.
Check out these great gates we just finished!
Here’s the original rendering I created. As you can see, we stuck very closely to every detail.
Window detail and electronic keypad entry.
The second opening was a little wider, so we made a pair of gates. Both gates feature something fairly unique - A small arch at the bottom to allow the rabbits to escape from the dogs.
We continued the heart-tipped hinge theme in the handles and vertical gate bolt. Everything was built with durability in mind. All edges and end grains are treated with an elastomeric coating, two coats of alkyd primer, and two coats of Low-VOC paint. All hardware is powder coated, galvanized or stainless steel. One of the best ways to be green is to build things to last.
Modern Library Storage Bins in the making…
Making these things is way more work than you think.
Part One - Getting the books. You think finding decent hardcover books would be easy in this digital document world, and it is, if you want to pay $2 or more a book. Sure $2 sounds cheap, but 15 books later, you’ve got $30 into one of these things and you haven’t even made a box to put ‘em on.
Part Two - Selecting the books. When you look at the Book Bins, the books may seem random, but it took a lot of time to get them to that point. After having the spines carefully removed, we separate and sort the books by height. This is important for practical purposes. The boxes themselves are very durable, so to make sure the book spine face is equally durable, it’s important that they don’t protrude too far from any edges of the box, where they’re susceptible to excessive wear and tear.
Then Jen typically puts them together into approximate collections for each bin. When it comes time to attach them to the bin, they’re scrutinized further by size and color, and to make sure they fit the box properly. There’s an art to making a group of random width books fit perfectly from edge-to-edge of each bin.
Occasionally odd length spines need to be cut down. You see this in people with short legs. When doing this at home, try not to cut your fingers off. If you do, try not to get blood on your project. Oh, and I should probably have some kind of disclaimer here, and say Don’t Attempt To Build Anything At Home. We are professionals. Besides, this stuff really is a lot of work, and if you don’t have anything better to do than spend your weekend trying to build one of these things, you should just go watch some Chris Elliot.
Step Three - To quote Tracy Jordan, “Blah Blah Blah, you get the point.”
Treehouse or Deck?
For what it’s worth, here’s the original, unfinished design…
And in my real life…
Anyhow, good look on your search…
What I did on my Winter Vacation
I could tell she was hoping I’d give her a hand, so I took her to the art store, got some supplies and we went to work on a models of two different types of Egyptian dwellings. The one we’re working on in these pictures is for the upper class. We built another, smaller one that represented the regular folk.
Check this out -
Our local design rag, Ventana, featured us in the September issue. Kudos to us. I know September was awhile back, but I been busy, yo.
In a seemingly unrelated post, I had the strangest dream the other night.
I was at my friend Tristen’s old house in the country. They always had a bunch of animals out there, like dogs, horses and peacocks. So it wasn’t strange when, in my dream, I looked out the window and saw a dozen or so really furry black cats. What was strange however, was that about half of them were wearing prescription glasses. The same kind Julie Kotter wore on Welcome Back Kotter.
I woke up from the dream laughing. Then I got to thinking, “You know, you never see animals with prescription glasses.” Then it occurred to me that there probably aren’t even optometrist vets. Well, one thing led to another, and I created the Eye Chart For Cats.
So for all you cat lovers out there, here is the first step towards better feline vision care.
Able And Baker at the Emmys
Each frame is:
+ Made with FSC (Forestry Stewardship) certified ply
+ Hand Finished with an Organic Beeswax blend, revealing a naturally rich wood grain
+ Includes Framer’s Grade Acrylic and felt bumpers
+ Handcrafted in our woodshop
(This week enter Autumn30 at checkout to get 30% Off!)
Want to order a large quantity, or Need a Custom Size? Let us know.
(Thanks to Janeen at ecofirstart.com for inviting us to participate)
Able + Baker Design