After last year’s success, Charlie Whinney and I again ran an intensive steambending workshop for four furniture makers demonstrating the amazing possibilities in bending solid wood using steam.
My role is to organise the workshop and ensure that everything runs smoothly, keeping the steamers hot and providing the right wood in perfect condition for each demonstration or practical session. With the benefit of what I learned last time, this course was a lot easier as I had arranged the room more efficiently and could predict what Charlie would want next.
The course progressed through an experiment into the bending capacity of different timbers through the use of jigs, formers and freebending to create curves, spirals, fans, twists and even knots in green oak and ash. Sunday again saw us working to create a unique steambent chair with each student. I have enough steambending experience now that, despite the busy atmosphere and speed needed to achieve this, I can keep calm while working to keep everything on course, assist students with their chairs and help them with personalising the basic form into their own sculptural piece of furniture.