Sunday, June 17, 2012

Inspired by Ammonites

Lately I have been working on changing the carvings I use on the comb back chair. I am making a writing arm chair out of walnut and white oak for a show with the Cumberland Furniture Guild and this will be the test chair for the new carvings on the comb and handholds. The idea came from a good customer who owns a vintage guitar store in Nashville. He has been telling me about how the carvings on vintage violins would be ideal for my chairs. He brought me an Ammonite fossil to see what nature can produce as a perfect spiral. There is something intrinsic about ammonites that is aesthetically pleasing to humans. Whether it be phi (the golden number), or the Fibonacci spiral (observed in galaxies) something is just pleasing to everyone. So seen below is what I have started. The famous Stradivarius violins worth millions use this same carving.

  I just returned from Bill Nelson's farm in Indiana with lots of white oak we cut into 2x's for a back porch cover for the shop and post for an extension on the pole barn to cover the saw mill. As you can see I have put off finishing the rear porch for long enough. The covered porch will be nice to put my steamer and maybe some firewood near the back door. Later this summer I will be cutting timber for another timber frame structure for a garden tool shed. I am having way too much fun.

  Several weeks ago I hosted the Cumberland Furniture Guild's spring meeting. The topic was sharpening chair tools, steam bending, and drill bit grinding. The shop has never seen so many talented artist. It was a great day and it was great to see everyone. I strongly encourage all local artist to join the guild.
 If you live in the Tennessee area I will be featured on NPT public television's" Tennessee Crossroads" next Thursday June 21st @ 7 pm central and again on Sunday June 24th @ 10 am central. It will be a 6 minute piece on what I do here at the shop. Please watch and let me know what you think. I do know I am not ready for Hollywood.


  1. Greg - very interesting post. It is great to see when someone continues to explore new ideas and processes keep us posted on the outcome. By the way how is the neighbors organic garden going. Talk to you soon

    Robert - Stow Oh

  2. Hey Robert, I'll post soon on the latest chair and carvings. The drought has been rough on the farmers but they are gearing up for a fall crop.