WoodSkills Issue 02 - Page 35

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WS: Do you have a favorite piece? If so, which one and why?

CT: Not really, I have a few pieces I’ve made several times in different materials that I quite like, my Art Deco chess table is one of those pieces and I do have a fondness for that particular piece as it was one of the first truly original Art Deco pieces I designed. It seems to have garnered some appreciation with clients as I have made it in a number of versions in different materials over the years. Beyond that my favorite piece is usually the one I’m currently working on and as soon as it’s complete I’m ready to move on to the next piece.

WS: Which woods do prefer working with and why?

CT: I really don’t have any preference for specific woods, some are easy to work and some are difficult but whichever one looks best in the current project is the one I’ll use. My current mechanical puzzle cabinet is made primarily of Walnut and it is a joy to work compared to the previous piece made in Wenge, which is a real pain to work sometimes.

WS: Are there any mediums and methods you have not yet explored but hope to in the future?

CT: I’ve been doing a bit more metal work over the past year and find it both interesting and exhausting compared to woodworking. I would like to incorporate more detailed metal work in certain pieces in the future but for the moment I outsource the fabrication of more complex parts to local machine shops. I would also like to do a bit more hand tool work in my woodworking as time allows. I won’t be hand cutting dovetails anytime soon but I’d like to move in that direction, it would be nice to find a way to slow things down in the shop a bit and now feel the push to complete every piece on a tight deadline. Hand tool work seems like it would help facilitate that slowing down process.

PUZZLE CABINET, 2014 ETIMOE, AMBOYNA BURL, CURLY SYCAMORE, MAPLE BURL, EBONY, MARQUETRY WOODS 34" H x 42"W x 18" D Craig Thibodeau San Diego, CA USA

Photo by Craig Carlson