May 2006


President's corner

Next meeting

Last meeting



Last Meeting

The April BAWA meeting was held at the California Contemporary Arts (CCA) campus in San Francisco. The first portion of the meeting was the BAWA meeting followed by our main presenter, Wendy Maruyama and open to the public and the school students.

We started out with Announcements. Bill Henzel mentioned the International Arts and Crafts exhibit at the DeYoung museum in San Francisco. This exhibit is the first to explore the movement from a truly international perspective. We will recognize may names such as Greene and Greene, Stickley, Frank Lloyd Wright and others. The exhibit was organized by the Victoria and Albert museum in London. A member also said that the museum's regular furniture collection on the second floor is also worthwhile to see. The exhibit ends June 18.

Fred Reicher was next describing the Rebuilding Together project slated for 4/29 with a prep day at the location, 1300 4th St (next to the Ball Park) on 4/24.

Tech Talk -- Mike Bray in 10 minutes described a way to build doors and/or windows with a number of glass panes of glass inserted. Our jaws were dropping as he described moving a 1/4 inch there and 1/8 inch here paying attention to which face of the blade the rails, stiles and dividers were facing. Fortunately, he had a very nice handout which is on the web and will be in our library. So our jaws came back to their natural position.

Tool Talk-Fred Reicher talked about a Sears (Model #9 24031) Power Controller. He plugs in his band saw, the dust collector and a lamp into the unit. When he switches on his band saw, the dust collector and light come on. When he switches off, the collector and light stay on briefly. He tried it with a table saw but the fuse kept blowing.

Harold Patterson our Toy Workshopmeister announced a workshop on May 13 in Jamie Buxton's work shop in Belmont. Articulated and other toys will be made. Contact Harold at or 650 349-7922 if you want to participate.

Per Madsen gave away some of the boxed wooden block sets to a school in Brisbane. He showed many thank you letters and drawings that the kids made. None of the drawings will make it to the DeYoung museum unfortunately.

Arnie Champagne announced his new set of classes. See the Classifieds.

Rafflemeister Stan Booker showed a new item a figured Red Birch board and the Wenge board also. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5. See Stan for a discount on 600 or more tickets. The door prize goodies included Titebond II, small tool box, small storage bins and a 2006 Humvee. The Humvee needs to be verified if it is a give-away item.

Stan from his working life had marking gages and a vise to give away.

Show & Tell

Dan Goodman is learning to make boxes. He showed a small Walnut box with a Walnut Burl recessed top which was storage for a domino set and a large box made of Rosewood with a Bubinga veneer recessed top. He asked for some suggestions as to ways to improve his work making boxes. In addition, to prove how tough Rosewood is, a member dropped it as it was being passed around. Fortunately, it appears OK.

Claude Godcharles is learning to turn and he showed a segmented turning with Yellow Heart and Soapstone which was quite a challenge since the relative hardness of the two materials were so different. He also had 2 boxes to show.

Bruce Woods talked about the Woodworking Show and our staffing of a booth. Most spots had at least 2 volunteers signed up to staff the booth for 2 hours.

The business meeting was concluded and after a short break the meeting portion with CCA started. Don Fortescue, the Chair of the Furniture Program at CCA talked about Wendy Maruyama and how she had preceded him as the Chair of the Furniture Program at CCA. He was glad that BAWA had contacted him so that it could become a joint meeting allowing some old and some new students to attend. Two of the students then talked about their experiences with Wendy and Per Madsen also introduced Wendy.

Wendy is presently a professor in the Woodworking and Furniture Design Program at San Diego State University. She has been the recipient of numerous grants and has been an Artist-In-Residence in England, France, Pennsylvania and New York. Wendy then took the floor and by talking and presenting a series of slides talked about her involvement with woodworking.

She started making furniture in 1971 in a crafts class majoring also in both metalworking and jewelry but soon opted for furniture design. She started with her sculptural work making flowing forms such as a lectern and a garden ornament without the use of joinery.

Soon she moved to learn traditional carcase construction making chests, tables and other pieces. Then came Grad School at the Rochester Institute of Technology where she decided to break with traditional type furniture making and started applying paint and writing on her pieces.

After graduation with an MFA, she taught in Tennessee where she built her "Mickey Macintosh Chair", a stylized chair with ears and turned legs with sections of cast glass pieces .

She then moved back to Berkeley where she shared a studio and taught at CCA. There she made custom pieces that were similar but still custom. For example, she made 2 or 3 blanket chests using the same pattern and technique but through paint and other treatments made them all look different and custom made.

She is profoundly influenced by the environment where she lives. While in France, the use of candles there influenced her to make a series of large candle holders. Seeing Henry Matisse's chapel doors inspired her to design a chest with cast bronze leaves. She explored the differences between interior and exterior space by making a vanity, a chest of drawers and other things where the inside space is dramatically different from the outside area of the piece.

She showed pieces that she made after a trip to India. In the early 90's while in England, influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement there, she made a laptop desk using English Yew on the inside and a charcoal gray on the outside. In Scotland, she designed an English Brown Oak cabinet to hold four Scotch glasses for sharing good Scotch with friends.

In 1994, she went to Japan to find her roots and was impressed with the richness of material and her experiences there. She used Japanese lacquer on some of her pieces during that period. She discovered Tokanoma, a private alcove in a Japanese tea house so she made a series of boxes or cabinets with items inside full of personal and cultural meanings. She also incorporated images of Godzilla in cabinets, Geisha's in others and also dolls. Her work was influence by what she saw around her such as Pachinko parlors, Zen gardens and even Samurais. She designed a photo collage for Wilson Art plastic laminate and then used the material in making cabinets. She also designed and built a tea house which involved a lot more than she thought to build it. While at Anderson Ranch, she made some very large digital prints with a Japanese style pattern. She used one of theses prints to cover one wall of the tea house. Digital prints were also framed with interesting wooden frames out of which she made wall hangings and cabinets. While in Japan, she was selected to design some outdoor benches at the SF UC Medical Center as a memorial to those who lost their lives on 9/11. She used Coreten as the core material and support for the benches with an overlay of stainless steel and the seating area is concrete. The steel used for the sculpted benches implies a relationship to industry and building materials and the concrete will be comfortable in any kind of weather.

Many items influenced her work from her two trips to Japan. She worked with block prints, portrayed contradictions such as Hello Kitty images. She placed these images inside cabinets and other furniture pieces.

A trip to Australia influenced her to make a "sarcophagus" with a video playing inside a box of a tiger-like creature that the Australians had decimated.

A recent trip to China brought images of the Forbidden City juxtapositioned against other Chinese furniture artists. These pieces were displayed at the Peabody Essex museum. Incidentally, our very own member Yeung Chan, our May speaker lectured there.

Presently, she is making a piece for a show utilizing a video of her sister. There will be several presentations as follows: a Japanese Lacquer workshop in Bolinas in a couple of weeks with the man she studied with in Japan ( ); another presentation in Stinson Beach ( and; in San Francisco; and in Richmond

Wendy has worked with practically every medium known. She responds to her environment and her Japanese heritage and influences from every culture she has come in contact with. This is reflected in every piece that she makes. She thinks and creates "out of the box" and hopefully her remarkable presentation will influence us in our work. Personally, I plan to make a full length (300 foot high) Godzilla out of Philippine Mahogany.

The meeting ended with members streaming home to design their own innovative pieces.

Craig Mineweaser and Mark Rand

WARNING-A member told me that a window in his car was broken and a back pack and other things taken and the radio was ripped out. He was parked near the CCA campus. This brings to mind that nothing should be left in a parked car including car registration or any papers with your address on it. It has been known that thieves after securing an address from a parked car went to the address, determined no one was home and broke in. In addition, I understand if someone gets your VIN number from the dashboard, they can go to a dealer and have the car key and the alarm activation unit made with the dealer usually not checking to see if the person is the owner of the vehicle. It is illegal to remove the VIN but you can cover it with tape. What's all this got to do with wood? Everything! How can you get your wood and new tools home without your vehicle?