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2009 October | Tomita Designs

Bamboo Dining Table Design

October 26th, 2009 by admin

Here are few early designs I did for a new client.  She likes my gingko table and wants a dining table with the opposing leg design and through tenons on top.

Ive always wanted to scale the gingko up in size.  The main issue is the lower opposing leg will get in the way of feet, knees, chairs if its at a diagonal.  My solution is to align the legs in a cross so the legs interfere with sitting but right where there would be a division anyway.

Id like to use 1.5″ bamboo for the top but it only comes in 30″ wide.  There will have to be a deliberate seam that will also be a design feature.  It looks nice to have the seam follow the construction of the legs.

Another solution is to scrap the opposing legs altogether.  I played around with running the grain the opposite direction on the top here.

Denver Sculpture Part2.

October 20th, 2009 by admin

We revisit the sculpture we built as BambooDNA at the MileHigh Music Festival earlier this summer in this blog post part1.  Brief recap: we unloaded the prefabricated columns and erected them by hand using pulleys and rigging ingenuity.

Next up: the big guns!  We had an ENORMOUS crane help us erect the center column.  Yah, it was a little overkill to use a $1.3million 135ton crane (270,000lbs) with a 266ft maximum extension to erect a 700lb spire but thats how we fly- in style.  And it looked cool to top it off!

The column nested into a steel ring in the center and the riggers tied it off to the structure with guy wires.  The heroic Kevin Rowell then climbed the spire and released the crane.

Next we put up the bright red sails.  They are made of spandex like material and are very flexible.  We tie them on with a secret technique involving small rocks wrapped in fluorescent tape.

Wala!  We have TENSEGRITY (structures with an integrity based on a synergy between balanced tension and compression components).  Nerdy yes and cool yes.

This was a great build.  Our fearless leader Gerard Minakawa has our operation running at full efficiency.  We knocked it out with no problem and had time to go rafting, jump off 40 ft cliffs, run down glaciers barefooted, and even hit the casino!

We’ll end with me pretending to work ;) having too much fun with a bamboo hatchet.

Amy Ruppel Deer painting for my office

October 12th, 2009 by admin

One of my favorite artists and certainly the sweetest, Amy Ruppel has created a unique custom painting for my office.  I still had the 1/4″ MDF template that we used to make her deer chaboo (shown below) and I had her paint it.  Its hard to believe but its her first time painting on an irregular, non-rectangular canvas.

In this painting she combined digital printouts with hand etching and covered the whole surface in white wax.  I love the delicacy of the deer form and her composition is of course, uncanny.

Check out her website here to see her other work. She does a lot of digital design work but can also work by hand.   She has done work for big companies such as Burton snowboards and Target as well as for us little people ;)  Shes one of my favorite artists because she has a spirit and attitude of fun and warmth.  Thanks for a great painting Amy!

Santa in my Shop

October 5th, 2009 by admin

Check out this picture of Santa Claus in his workshop at the North Pole…. NOT!  Its actually taken in my workshop by brilliant photographer Quavondo.

I built this set for him out of random stuff laying around the shop- windows, wine barrel, wood paneling, red fabric, workbench.  I borrowed a bunch of old hand tools from my friend Matty Sears.  Check out the huge 2 person saw in the background.

Crazy huh?  Quavondo is a photographer primarily focusing on celebrity and fashion photography.  While mostly working for clients, he shoots for stock photography on the side.  He had an idea to do vintage Santa pictures and contacted me out of the blue if he could use my work shop.

Pretty amazing work if you ask me.  Clearly he is a man of vision and inspired ideas.  Click on the images to go to his website.

Ya, Santa Claus and fashion have very little to do with furniture design…. or so it seems.  However, a common interest to create just because we want to brought us together.  Another fun day at TomitaDesigns!