Alamo Hardwoods Blog
Paris Part 1
Travel allows one to see everyday things in a new light, breaking free from the standard, mechanical routine we often become hypnotized by. Here are some impressions of Paris, walking around only days before the recent events. The sun breaks through and there are moments of serenity found all over. Enjoy.
Painted wooden door in the Hotel de Sully White Oak door showing decades of weathering in Paris Does one fight the elements with maintenance, or allow the years to show? A deep overhang and maintenance make a noticeable difference, take note, architects Like snowflakes, every door is different, showing the taste of the owner, and the skill of the designer and carpenter
Posted by JR Huebinger on 24th January, 2015 | Comments | Trackbacks | Permalink
Categories: Paris, doors, wood, white oak, travel
Tags: alamo hardwoods, travel, historic, wood, doors, paris
Kerrvile Furniture Show, The Winners!
!"Sorry to leave you readers hanging for so long as to the winners of the Kerrville Furniture Maker's show (of course, you COULD have just gone to their website http://www.texasfurnituremakersshow.com/
if you were truly that curious)
The judging was quite difficult and there was much discussion about what should be the criteria for one piece to be considered superior to another. We agreed that machine labor should not be punished versus hand labor. Some pieces received extra points for creativity and the "I've never seen that before" credits. In some instances, it came down to the judges running their hands around underneath a piece to check for the finish quality in the nooks and crannies. Many pieces were downgraded by their poorly applied finishes that hid the wood quality under thick, goopy poly-plasti-ure-tex.
One judge recounted how one evening at ten o'clock one of his female clients called him to say that she was sitting in bed, reading, just stroking the surface of a side table he had made for her. (Lesson woodworkers, it's all in the surface treatment! it sounds like it can even get you dates!)
Each category allowed for us to find a piece that exemplified that particular category as a fairly clear winner, then the real work started. How do you compare apples to oranges and declare one to be superior? Should a flash of creativity be valued over obvious months of pure labor? (hint, in America, yes)
In the end, we made our selections and the announcements were made.
Interestingly, once the veils were lifted and the names were revealed there were MANY familiar faces for me at the show. The Two art pieces, the rib chair and the tower drawer were actually made with Alamo Hardwoods lumber (Iknew I smelled quality!)
One judge announced "If you didn't get an award, just blame the judges!" , which was fine for him. He got on a plane the next day!
I had to live with all these people. And the next morning we had a critique, where each maker had the chance to learn just what we liked (and didn't) about their pieces. Imagine the Nuremburg trials....
The Announcement (You can feel the tension, right?) "You are here" Texas Mesquite Campaign Table with Modern Mesquite Table in background Texas Table by Berdoll Sawmill and FUrniture Modern Art Furniture White Oak Bench Winning Modern Bench THE WINNAH!!!!!
Bent Ash Chair
Posted by JR Huebinger on 22nd January, 2015 | Comments | Trackbacks | Permalink
Categories: art furniture, art, Kerrville, local furniture, modern, wood
Tags: Kerrville, art, art furniture, wood furniture reproduction historic, contemporary wood furniture
Kerrville Texas Furniture Maker's Show
The Kerrville Arts Center, Housed in the Old Post Office Designed by Ayres and AyresJr Huebinger, Assoc AIA. was recently honored by being asked to judge the Kerrville Texas Furniture Maker's Show. (ongoing until Nov. 29 so hurry out there!)
With a bachelor's of Architecture and a lifetime of handling and specifying wood for furniture and buildings, I felt fairly qualified to look at custom, hand made furniture with a critical eye.
I traveled to the thriving metropolis of the hill country, Kerrville (pop 30000) the night before to meet with my fellow judges and walk through the show space. The Arts Center is housed in the 1940's Post Office, designed by well known San Antonio architecture firm Ayres and Ayres. Having worked on many of their houses and buildings before (I was actually baptized in an Atlee Ayres designed church) I could feel Robert's hand all over this space. The white oak molding and paneling are remarkably well preserved. My fellow judges were both mature furniture makers and teachers so they understood every cut that had been made.
On the initial walk through, the quality and high level of craftsmanship was evident and very impressive. In many pieces the hours and weeks of work were clearly evident. The casual observer would find the lines or colors striking, the design pleasing or not, but I had a job to do. I had to put aside my personal preferences ( now where in the house could I squeeze in that super cool multi wood bent bench?!) and evaluate the craftsmanship and finish first, then the design aspects. While I appreciated the pair of side tables and lamps that clearly belonged on the set of the new Austin Powers movie for their fun factor, did the hand work match up to it's competitors?
The next morning we returned for the hard work. We went piece by piece and debated how much work was evident and how well executed each piece was. Did the finish help or hurt the piece? (in many cases the finish really knocked a piece down a few notches) How much time had been spent on the piece? We had no names but only a brief written description of each piece to guide us. Sometimes the description told a story that was not easily evident in the piece. What appeared to be plywood, was actually hand sliced and laid out veneer! A wood that was a mystery to the other two judges (but I had seen a few times before) turned out to be Chinaberry, an imported landscape tree from Asia that few people love. The more we debated, the more difficult the work turned out to be.
To find out the winners, you'll just have to come back for the next blog post!
White Oak Details by the Firm of Ayres and Ayres Multi-Colored Woods Showing Off their Natural Beauty Austin Power's Bedroom Furniture Dangerous Furniture (Or is it Art?) How did He DO that? Stipple Carved Texas Mesquite Bench Chinaberry wood table
Posted by JR Huebinger on 17th November, 2014 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks | Permalink
Categories: Kerrville, Texas, local furniture, art furniture, craftsman
Tags: Texas, Kerrville, Art, Furniture, handmade, wood, alamo hardwoods, modern design, wood art