How I Learned to Cut Dovetails By Hand  – Core77

When I was in 6th grade, I took a summer activity workshop that focused on a different skill each day. One of the days was focused on wood shop and I made a simple toolbox that my mom still uses. I enjoyed it. I never tried woodworking in any significant way until I was in architecture school, twenty years later.

During the first week of classes, the shopmaster (who was a very kind and pleasant person) gave us a comprehensive “safety training” which consisted of three days of completely freaking me out about using any  tool… ever. The three day “training” culminated in being forced to use a table saw during which the entire session focused on “kickback.” (Kickback, in case you don’t know is when the grain of the wood gets angry at the teeth of the saw and essentially uses the blade as the force to project the wood with insane force away from the blade.) The most freaky thing about the whole experience was the 2×4 sticking out of the wall behind the table saw as a warning to “pay attention” while you were using the saw.

What I learned from the training was that anytime I needed to use any tool beyond a pen or a T-square, that I should wear a black suit and look confused, and that someone would do the work for me. So, while my colleagues were learning to cut dovetail joints and cast molten metal, I struggled to put together a simple wooden box, paranoid that I’d cut a finger off, or crack my skull open with a flying 2×4.


I’ve wanted to be able to hand-cut dovetails for years, and I’m proud to say I now can! I recently took “Hand Tools Skills – Mastering Dovetailing,” a four-session class at Tools for Working Wood in Brooklyn. This is a review of that class.

Source: How I Learned to Cut Dovetails By Hand  – Core77

Wool Sculpture

I keep these two images on my desktop to look at whenever I need a smile. They’re the work of Hanna Dovhan, a wool sculptor from the Ukraine.

I obsessively check her Etsy page to try to nab an avocado when they come available (which is every now and then), but I haven’t been lucky enough to snag one yet. For now, I’ll just have to be satisfied with the awesome pictures of the amazingly detailed and cute work.

Wool Sculpture Sheep

Wool Sculpture Avocado

My new favourite: Kristin Fung

Everyone that knows me knows that I am absolutely no fan of music. I have a few favorite songs from a few favourite artists that I listen to over and over again. Anything else either annoys me or makes me sad.

Well, scratch that. Canadian songstress Kristin Fung may have changed my mind about music. She’s a jazzy, funky energetic groove that falls between between Sade, Basia, and Everything But the Girl with a sound that is totally her own and a lyrical wit that matches her Canadian counterpart, Maryn Cadell.


Check her out. You won’t regret it!

A photo a day…

This past semester, my students prompted me to take a photo of the beautiful view from our studio room. We decided to take a photo every time we met (twice each week…or at least on those days that I actually remembered to do it) until the end of the semester.

John Mohawk, a professor from my PhD program, would always say: the fall semester begins in summer and ends in winter. It begins in lightness and ends in darkness. Very true. The reverse is true about the spring semester.

The funny thing… the view from our studio is really pretty stunning, though you would never know it from this series of images! We overlook a beautiful hill on the opposite side of the valley. My images always look ugly because the flat rubber roof encompasses 40% of the image! In any case, a curious study of light, color, and change over time and a glimpse into our changing seasons.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.