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California Pepper Stool

Here's My Woodworking!

by Rachel Curray
Buena Park, CA

I recently had an article featured on Offerman Woodshop about working with reclaimed California Pepper Wood.

I am a Studio Art Major with an emphasis in Graphic Design at Cal State Long Beach, and will be graduating this May. The only real prior experience I had with working with wood was creating frames for canvasing and weathering wood to give certain furniture an antique feel. I was interested in learning more about woodworking in hopes of designing/creating custom furniture. I took the Introduction to Wood class offered at CSULB in Fall of 2015, and one of the first projects given was to create a nomadic piece of furniture. The plywood nomadic stool I completed has served me very well, and as an art student with limited space in a rented room, it permitted extra storage and an extra place for guests to sit.

Ultimately, what had me really fall in love with woodworking was working with reclaimed wood. Towards the end of the Fall semester I had the opportunity to mill, cut, sculpt, and finish California Pepper wood. The grains prior to placing the Danish oil finish were gorgeous in their own right. Needless to say, I was awed by the beauty of the grains, and was excited to see the final result. Though unpredictable and often times frustrating to work on, salvaged would is not lacking in character, and is by far the best material, in my opinion to create furniture or sculpt with.

As a student who finds herself working primarily with 2D art, woodworking has been my "breath of fresh air." Applying my design skills to create tangible objects that can be enjoyed physically as well as aesthetically has allowed me to venture off into what potentially can be a career changing path, or maybe just an incredibly cathartic and fulfilling hobby. I aspire to further my knowledge in woodworking and custom furniture/sculptural works whist incorporating my knowledge in graphic design. Why not marry the two worlds!

Below are pictures of my Nomadic Plywood Stool project:

You can email Rachel at Rachel.Curray@gmail.com .

Would you like to see your woodworking in this column? We invite you to SEND US PHOTOS of your favorite woodworking projects along with captions and a brief history of your woodworking. (Email photos at 800x600 resolution.) Receive a $50 store gift card if we show your stuff in a future issue.

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