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2008 November | Tomita Designs

Coat Rack in Action

November 29th, 2008 by admin

Ive finally completed my blog posting on my coat rack project.  The posting goes through the project from concept to design to fabrication to completion.  The project was a lot of fun for me.  Especially the part where I got to pour molten lead!

Tomita Designs in the NFL

November 28th, 2008 by admin

I hired my friend Jeff Charleston about a month ago to help me with some labor around the shop.  He helped me sand some Chaboos that I was building and also helped with finishing.  I knew he played for the Colts last year and was trying out with some teams.  He wanted to work for me and it definitely wasnt about the money.  I really admired his work ethic- growing up on a farm in Oregon, hes worked hard his whole life and refuses to stay idle even if it means working for relative pennies.

So while he was working for me he got signed by the New Orleans Saints!  After a few weeks he became a starter at defensive end and has played outstanding football the last few weeks recording two sacks at Kansas City and recording 5 tackles against Green Bay!

After coming out of nowhere to be the hero Jeff was bombarded by the media and has been the subject of a few good articles on his heroic story.  He mentioned his work experience at Tomita Designs in a few interviews.

Maybe professional football was no longer in his future, thought Charleston, 25, who busied himself for the first five weeks of the season by helping out at a friend’s custom furniture store in Portland, Ore.

Another article here.

Defensive end Jeff Charleston, who was working at a woodshop in Portland, Ore., when the Saints offered him a job in mid-October, had two sacks and two quarterback hurries to lead a spirited effort by the Saints’ defense.

Much props to Jeff for never giving up and pursuing his dream.  Once again, I really admire the fact that he has such a strong will to work hard all the time, no matter the circumstance or pay.  There is a lot to learn from that for sure.

Way to go Jeff!  Im rooting for you man and save up for that flat black Toyota Van.  Well deck out the interior with some nice custom stuff!  Total sleeper….

Chaboo Uses

November 25th, 2008 by admin

How will you use your Chaboo?

I originally designed Chaboo for myself.  I like small spaces, I like sitting on the floor, and I wanted a piece of dynamic/versatile furniture.  Chaboo is meant to be furniture that you use in many many different ways and move everyday.

Im having my friend from RISD, Chris Towery do some illustrations demonstrating the different uses.  I sent him photos I took of my mom and brother using the chaboo in various ways.  Chris is an excellent designer who did the original design for my Tomitadesigns logo back in the day.  He is a graphic designer for Quicksilver now and likes to sketch jazz bands in his leisure time.

I like the okapi one the best!  Pretty sweet….


Nice Glass!

November 22nd, 2008 by admin

Juno (see previous post) showed me some samples of cool things he has done with glass.  I can already see some furniture applications.  I like the irregularity- it gives the glass a natural feel, warmer

Small glass cylinders are chopped up and glued together.  Lots of work!  the cuts are inconsistent- creating variations in color where the glue seeped in underneath. The epoxy used for glue up can be died any color and you can even do a gradient.

A sample of bamboo laminated up with glass.  He used this on a stair tread project.

Chaboo Artist- Juno Lachman

November 20th, 2008 by admin

I had the chance to visit Project Chaboo participant Juno Lachman’s studio in SE Portland today.  His company, Juno Architectural Glass Inc.

specializes in the design and production of custom architectural glass for both interior and exterior applications in commercial, residential and public settings. We use a wide range of techniques such as sandblasting, sand carving, laminating, and cold working to create distinctive installations.

His studio was huge and very organized and clean.  I think that really shows a commitment to professionalism.   Juno showed me various glass equipment and samples of sandblasting that he has done.  Him and his assistant Sarah are working on a massive 8×24 ft outdoor glass panel which is made from a mosaic of 2″ x 2″ glass.  The overall design is of looking up into a bamboo grove!  Very fitting that he is working on a bamboo chaboo.  He showed me a few techniques he has for laminating glass and experimental stuff he has done with epoxy and glass rods.  He is going to sandblast the chaboo and also insert some glass.  Very cool.  Well see how bamboo sandblasts- my guess is that the nodes will resist and give it  a nice irregular feel.  Id like to collaborate with him someday and have him make me a custom glass top for a piece of furniture.

Juno and his assistant Sarah in the studio

Thanks for the tour Juno.  Im looking forward to seeing what you do with your chaboo!