Applewoods Studio & Gallery
The GSWT organized a trip to Visit with David and Michelle Holzapeel located in Marlboro, Vermont. You can find pictures of their work at their website. www.holzapfelwoodworking.com
David and Michelle took turns introducing themselves and provided some background history on themselves. David explained that he makes custom furniture. Mostly one of a kind tables and chairs. Michelle makes mostly turnings that are then carved and carvings.
We started the morning by breaking into two groups. One group followed David and the other Michelle.
David shows the group a current project. He likes to work with nature, where nature has provided a form from which to start. This hollowed out log with some carving will become a base for a glass top coffee table.
David and his favorite carving tool
David explains that his electric chainsaw is relatively safe to use. He has install a handle at the end of the bar the helps with control and is less likely to kick back. David also uses smaller grinders and hand tools once the bulk of the materials have been removed with the chainsaw.
This is one of David’s finished pieces. Lots of his tables and chairs are made from slabs. The opposite side of the rounded back was burned then sanded exposing some clean wood and the coated with finish.
The wood shed is designed to allow air movement from most all sides. There are no walls and the floor boards are spaced 3/4″ apart to allow air movement from the bottom. There were slabs, planks, burls and hollow logs all about. David commented that he has more lumber then he will ever use in his lifetime but that you have to have a reserve stock on hand so that when a customer commissions you to make a piece you have the lumber to do it with. The drying time is about an inch per year. David did not think a customer would be willing to wait three to four years for the lumber to dry. When asked if David and Michelle fought over lumber the answer was that they worked in different mediums it it was really an issue.
Michelle uses a metal lathe inherited from her father. Using a maple burl Michelle demonstrated the cutting action of metal lathe. All attendees were encouraged to give it a try. The drive motor mounted below was from a pipe organ and it drove a series of pulleys and leather belts. It was very smooth running and at low speed where Michelle likes it. Away from the lathe Michelle has a work bench where she carves her turnings and artwork. Michelle explained how and what types tools she uses.
The basswood carving is from a single piece of wood. The picture does not do it justice and a must see up close in real life. Absolutely stunning, life like detail. Michelle is a well known artist nation wide, maybe even world wide with one of a kind pieces on exhibit in would renowned museums.
When Michelle was asked what her favorite piece was she did not hesitate to answer that it was the “Raggedy Ann Bookend”. Currently it is on exhibit in a museum. One parting comment that Michelle made that caught my ear was that fame does not necessarily equal fourtune.
This was a great tour. Many thanks to all the organizers.
David and Michelle. Thank you for having us. The two of you did a graet job.