13 September, 2011
I am extremely happy to announce that my ArtPrize entry for 2011 is finished and installed!
I present, “Earth”.
The table is 4×8 feet and is just the right height to be used as a dining room table or a conference table.
It is currently on display at Holiday Inn, 310 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids MI. Everybody who can is encouraged to come check it out in person any time during the day!
The table is a representation of Earth, if we were to entirely drain it of water and lay it flat. I spend dozens of hours working on the map to base this off of, which was based off of data from USGS, NASA and a few other sources. Nobody had all of the data, on the scale that I wanted, so I combined them to make my own. I then turned this into a single image which was used as the base for the design.
It is manufactured almost entirely out of recycled wood. The plywood Earth is old subfloor from The Geek Group‘s lab, back from when the Main Demonstration Hall was a basketball court. The rock maple used on the sides and the legs was the actual basketball floor. The walnut used in the trim was pulled out from the bottom of Lake Superior, leftover from a ship capsizing almost 150 years ago. The oak used in the legs came from a tree that was hit by lightning in Michigan last year. Lastly, there are small pieces of exotic wood from all over the world- including Ebony, Rosewood, Bocote, Bloodwood, Purpleheart, Yellowheart, Redwood, Mohogany and Olivewood.
This table took over 300 hours to make- and over 150 hours just to machine out the Earth’s surface! Wow! It is by far the most ambitious project I’ve attempted.
I am so thankful to all of the help and support I have received for this project!
A huge, huge, HUGE thanks goes out to Haas. At the Geek Group Labs, we are fortunate to have three machines from Haas- a SR100 Sheet Router, a TM-1 Mill and a TL-1 Lathe. I used all three of these to make this project, although of course the Sheet Router is the machine that threw up the most sawdust on this. It allowed me to make this project in a few months rather than something that would take years otherwise, and be exactly as accurate as I wanted. Thanks to these machines, I’ve truly been allowed to realise some of my biggest dreams- making furniture and artwork on a scale that surpassed even my imagination. (And we all know that takes work! )
I’d also like to thank Henderson Glass for being patient enough to help me install the table at the Holiday Inn and ensure that the glass top fit properly and did not shatter. A big shout-out to Woodcraft of Grand Rapids as well, for offering input on some technical questions and helping out immensely in finding the right tools and finishes for the job. And of course, to The Geek Group for their un-ending patience and assistance in building this project, especially by allowing me to use the machinery required to make this table.
Every vote towards the table goes a huge way towards winning- and winning would go a huge way towards ensuring that we can keep the machinery I love so much and make even more awesome furniture and artwork!
Please share this with everybody you know and love! Let’s rock ArtPrize!
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