Tim's latest "side" project was making two Backyard Backhoes for the grandkids. These are really cool, colorful sturdy wood outdoor toys -- made to last and be handed down for generations. Future Backyard Backhoes will be custom made to order with your choice of colors and logo designs! Check out the article for more details, including price, order fulfillment time, custom color choices, logos and shipping.
Bartholomäus Traubeck, a composer from Vienna, Austria, has figured out how to translate tree rings into something akin to music. Traubeck uses technology to create “music” from the ring data on slices of seven different tree species. Listen to this piano piece by an Alder Tree:
Here’s a description of the process on Traubeck’s BandCamp profile:
A tree’s year rings are analysed for their strength, thickness and rate of growth. This data serves as basis for a generative process that outputs piano music. It is mapped to a scale which is again defined by the overall appearance of the wood (ranging from dark to light and from strong texture to light texture). The foundation for the music is certainly found in the defined ruleset of programming and hardware setup, but the data acquired from every tree interprets this ruleset very differently.
And just for the heck of it, here is one other of my favorite Tree Songs from the same album, the music of an Ash (Fraxinus) Tree:
I was recently interviewed as a part of the Artisan’s Craft show at the Museum of the Rockies.
With a dining table and chairs in mind I went to our local hardwood dealer—Helena Hardwoods—in search of wood and inspiration. Dave carries many live edge slabs and we are lucky to have this source right in our hometown. After looking through many with him I came upon two that grabbed me.
That is how this table started. I bought them and let them sit in my shop for a while. I knew that I wanted to make the table top using the live edge of these slabs and use the remaining wood for the seats of the chairs. Although the two slabs would open into a bookmatached pair, they would be too wide at one end and narrow at the other for the table I wanted. So I decided to flip them end for end and join them on an angle. With this decided, I soon realized I did not have enough wood for six seats. So back to Dave’s for more wood to match.
With the top flattened and glued up and the seat blanks made, I started on the structural parts of the chairs. The original design I came up with a few years ago and have refined it along the way—recently adding arms. These chairs use the joinery developed by Sam Maloof which allows for a very flowing organic design and a wonderful play of hard and soft lines. They are also very comfortable.
Then back to the table and deciding a base for it. This is always a challenge for me—to design a base for a live edge piece that supports it in every way—structurally and aesthetically—without detracting from it. My original intention was a four legged base, but it soon became apparent that would not work with the captain’s chairs at the ends. So I decided on a trestle base that made room for both the chairs at the ends and ample room on the sides.
Although I have a very good idea of what the wood I am using will look like finished, it is still somewhat of a surprise when I actually put the first coat of finish on and the beautiful grain reveals itself. I saw a large rather shallow river with beautiful ripples and color. When describing this to my neighbor—an avid fisherman—he reminded me that this describes the Madison River here in Montana.
A further connection came when I remembered that my father had built a cabin on the Madison just outside the Park in West Yellowstone many years ago. It still stands. Too bad it is not still in the family!
Working with wood—especially live edge slabs—is a process. For me it is a process of letting the wood speak to me when I first see it, interacting with it all through the construction, and still listening and delighting when it reveals itself completely during the finishing.
“River’s Rift,” a play on the shape of a canyon, is an unusually figured piece of curly walnut with bloodwood accents. The slab is cut down the middle with the live edges turned inward and bookmatched. Walnut slabs make up the legs. A matching set of bloodwood plates and chopsticks with ebony rests accents the table.
“River’s Rift” may be used as a coffee table or a Japanese-style dining table, guests sitting on floor cushions.
A bar stool, dining stool or drafting stool … this is a versatile piece of Tim’s urban organic style. The seat is hand carved of quilted birch and fits any shape bottom. The quilted birch back provides excellent lumbar support in just the right place. Legs are cherry with purple heart accents.
With it’s comfortable ergonomic design and light weight sturdy construction, this stool encourages lingering over a marguerita or cappuccino at the bar.
Maureen’s stool can be custom ordered as a single stool or a set. Tim will make them in different woods, custom heights or back-rest styles. The leg rungs can also be customized to the perfect height for you.
The perfect piece for a tight kitchen or dining area, the gate leg table of cherry folds down to 1 ft. by 3 ft. and expands to 5 feet long to seat 6 comfortably. The gate legs make a beautiful play on their curves,open or closed. The unique design of the legs leaves plenty of knee clearance.
Chair may be seen here.
“Forest Muse,” is made from an exceptionally beautiful live edge slab of walnut from the crotch of the tree. Because the simple pencil drawer is hidden just under the desktop., Forest Muse may be used as a desk, sofa table, accent table or for dining.
The natural splits in the slab are held together with bloodwood butterfly keys for a subtle accent.
The chair of walnut with curly maple accents can be used as a desk or dining chair. The sculpted wood seat and curved back stays make for extremely comfortable sitting.
To see the chair in more detail, click here.