**This workshop will be live streamed via Zoom.**
Get hands-on experience with Cold-Bend Hardwood — wood that's so flexible you can tie it in knots, without the need for steam or laminating thin layers. Yet when the wood dries, the shape will be fixed and you can wow your friends by asking: "How in the heck did I do that?"
A Gig Harbor company, Pure Timber LLC, sells the wood for use in everything from curved-roof buildings to wooden bicycles. The wood is also used to great effect by artists, including the instructor for this online class, who made the jigsaw creature with the curved tail and snout shown in the picture. The wood is subjected to intense heat and pressure in a way that compresses the fibers longitudinally but leaves moisture in the cell cavities. Until that moisture evaporates, the wood remains flexible.
Pure Timber sells sample packs on its website, but they start at $120. For this class, you will get a smaller sample pack with sizes that the instructor recommends as a good place to start. Your kit will include at least a dozen pieces 46 inches long in a variety of thicknesses and widths, from 1/8 inch to 1/2 inch, plus at least one piece about 1/8 inch thick and 3 inches wide. The pieces will arrive in plastic wrap, which should keep them flexible.
At the first session, the instructor, Art Liestman, will show how he has used this wood, often as a component of pieces that also involved woodturning. He will share tips and discuss limitations of the wood. Liestman will suggest ideas for experimenting with the material, but there is no set project. You will then have a week to experiment.
At the second session, students will show their projects and the instructor and students will discuss what went well and what didn't. Both sessions will be interactive, so you can ask questions and get answers.
You will need to supply tools and other materials:
- A saw to cut pieces to length. For the 1/8” x 3” size, a jigsaw, band saw, jeweler's saw or other fine-tooth, curve-cutting saw would be useful if you want to cut something like the leaf shape shown in the picture.
- A pan to soak the blanks in water overnight.
- Sandpaper and possibly a power sander, though not essential for experimenting.
- Jig materials, which can range from plywood scraps at least 1/2 inch thick to curved shapes, to empty tin cans and short pieces of dowels in different diameters to bend the wood in smooth curves.
- Improvised ways of providing pressure while your pieces dry. These can include a screws (plus a drill and screwdriver), rubber bands in various sizes, and small clamps.
- Please note that for those choosing to have kits mailed, registration closes 10 business days before the first session, to allow time to assemble and/or mail kits.
If you opt to have your kit mailed, please verify your mailing address when you register. You will receive an email and tracking number when package has been shipped. If you are picking up at BARN, we will email you when the kits are ready with information on when and where to pick up your kit.
- This class will be taught via the Zoom video conferencing program. For a great video on how to use Zoom, watch this tutorial.
- An email will be sent to you one day before each session with the Zoom link to join the class. Please watch for this email.
- In gratitude to our members for their continued support during the closures, BARN is offering all classes for free to BARN members through December 2020. Members are still responsible for paying materials and mailing fees, where applicable. If a class is full, please add your name to the wait list in case a space opens up or we are able to offer another class. Check our calendar frequently as more classes are being added each week!
- Tuition assistance is available. Click here to apply.
- Open to beginners. Ages 14+ are welcome. (Youth may need supervision.)
Art Liestman, who lives in Vancouver, B.C., is well-known as a wood turner and woodturning instructor. He has presented to woodturners' clubs throughout the United States and Canada, including several repeat trips to the Olympic Peninsula Woodturners. He has been teaching online since the pandemic closures last spring.
He specializes in what he calls the lost wood process, in which he turns turning spindle blanks made of three layers. He then cuts the pieces, separates the layers and glues the outside layers back together to create turned objects that aren't round in cross-section. It was a short journey from that sleight-of-hand to incorporating cold-bending wood in his pieces.
Liestman's work can be seen on his website, artliestman.com