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2009 March | Tomita Designs

Lasers and Wax

March 28th, 2009 by admin

Check out this experiment by my friend Amy Ruppel.  She took some laser samples Joe Mansfield made her for Project Chaboo and backfilled with white wax. So cool!

This is the lasering on her chaboo inlayed with laser cut felt.

Id like to experiment with backfilling cracks in wood with colored wax.  More on that coming soon….

Amy creates these paintings with paper, oils, and a beeswax/resin mixture.  The image above is from her state bird series where she painted every single state bird!  I love the concept.

Chaboo near miss Kalina Torino

March 16th, 2009 by admin

As I ponder the future for Project Chaboo I realize I missed a lot of people. There are many many brilliant artists out there with great energy. Hopefully for round two I will find them all.  I met illustrator Kalina Torino at the show- a couple months too late, unfortunately. Her work is super cool- check it out!

Awww CUTE!  She tells me her characters are inspired by real people- I think pineapple girl is her. Shes been putting her characters into “suits” that can be hilarious.   Who wears a lobster?  Honestly… come on… haha.  I like the drooping things she has going in her backgrounds.  We discussed perhaps having them laser cut in the future and layering her paintings.  MMMmm lasers…

I love the humor quality in her work. Her very funny personality comes out in her drawings. I envy that actually, furniture is not very funny- at least mine isnt… Id like to find a way to make my work more fun… like me ;P

Here she paints by hand, rather than digital.  Its cool that she does both.  Shes going to paint on some natural edge wood scraps I have from Project Chaboo and Im going to make them move.  Kalina has big time positive enthusiasm, talent, and fun ideas- Im looking forward to tagging along for the ride!  Stay tuned…

Don Jensen Chaboo

March 12th, 2009 by admin

My shopmate Don Jensen of Synergies Renovations is also doing a chaboo.  He is a general contractor who specializes in high end remodels.  I met him on a job site years ago and we started to work together here and there.   He often curses at the difficulty of my designs to build- but hey, it looks good doesn’t it?  Here is a vanity that I designed and he built.  More examples here

His chaboo is titled Cantileaver Chaboo.  Its a one-legged chaboo which has molten lead embedded in it for stability.  He got the idea for it from ehem, ME!  I built a coat rack and melted down lead to pour into holes in the legs.  See the blog post here.

The legs are filled with lead and then veneered over to hide it.

Check out the detail in this joint!  The man uses dental tools.  Ive seen it myself!

photo by Anna Campbell

Don explains the secrets behind cantilever chaboo~

Don Jensen interview from Ken Tomita on Vimeo.

A great example of someone going all out on their chaboo.  There is something to be said for doing the best you possibly can.

Project Chaboo Opening Parta~y

March 8th, 2009 by admin

photo by Amy Ruppel

photo by Amy Ruppel

The opening was a SMASHING success!!!!!  Lots of pics by Amy Ruppel here. We counted 737 people through the front door and I estimate 200-300 came through the side and back doors for around 1000 total people.  The energy level in the Ford Building was off the charts.

photo by John Paananen

photo by John Paananen

People were digging the installation design by Lisa and Emily, the photography, and of course, the chaboos themselves.  Without exaggerating, the reaction was beyond anything I have ever seen at an art show.  People were simply blown away!

photo by Amy Ruppel

photo by Amy Ruppel

People were actually READING the bios.  Despite the party atmosphere many people were intensely immersed in the bios.

photo by Amy Ruppel

photo by Amy Ruppel

My number one goal was to create a positive boost for the participants and also the community in general.  Mission accomplished!

Project Chaboo Opening from Ken Tomita on Vimeo.

Show Setup

March 3rd, 2009 by admin

The Project Chaboo Show is right around the corner and we have been busy bees setting up. INSTALLING would actually be a more appropriate term…  interior designers Emily Knudsen and Lisa Kuhnhausen have designed the exhibit as an installation.  I tell people… its gonna be so beautiful we could forget to bring the chaboos and it would still be cool.

The morning started off hot with high efficiency thanks to overkill jigs built by Don Jensen.  His jigs are also used on the space shuttle.  This photo though… is staged- I told them to pose like they are doing something… but it looks like sara didn’t hear me.

She redeems herself here!  16 hours of duct taping paper to the ceiling by a bunch of tall guys and… walla!

BOOM!  This show will blow people away.  Go hard or go home baby…

Thank you to all the volunteers who helped out.  Without you this project simply doesnt happen!