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Virtual Visit: Matt will do both his Friday evening presentation and his Saturday workshop via Zoom.

Matt Kenney has made things from wood his entire life. He made his first piece of furniture—a storage box for gardening supplies—more than15 years ago, in the attic above the duplex where he lived. It wasn’t much to look at, but making that box awoke a passion for making furniture, a passion that has driven him ever since. He’s made a lot of furniture since then, constantly striving to improve his craftsmanship and design. The result of his efforts is furniture that is modern but grounded in the best of classic design, able to sit harmoniously alongside a wide range of furniture styles, and built to survive generations of daily use.

Matt’s Friday presentation (Oct. 16 @ 6:45):
What I Make & Why I Make It.

“Every piece of furniture has a story. For me, that story begins as an idea that I develop into a design. A short walk into my shop allows me to translate that design from paper to wood. But the story does not end when I’ve buffed out the wax and sent the piece to its new home. In fact, its story is just beginning. That’s because a piece of furniture finds its purpose and meaning after it’s been put into use. In this presentation, I’ll explain my design process, and show examples of my work that capture the things that I am most fascinated by: proportion, geometry, and color. I’ll also walk through how I get from a rough idea to a completed piece. It can be intimidating to design your own furniture. Many folks think that they do not have the creativity to do it, so I’ll also talk about how you can find and develop your own design voice. Finally, I’ll discuss why I make furniture. There is more to a piece of furniture than it’s function or utility. It has purpose, and this is what excites me about furniture making. I want to make things that go on to have long lives and provide meaning and purpose to those that own and use them.” – Matt

Matt’s Saturday morning demonstration workshop (Oct 17th from 9am – 11am) will focus on how to create a four-corner match for boxes and an introduction to kumiko.

Part 1: How to create a 4-corner grain match for boxes: “I’ll cover lumber selection (because it does matter), milling,  and resawing. I’ll then demonstrate how to crosscut and miter the four sides of a box so that the grain wraps around all four corners, seamlessly flowing from one piece to the next.”

Part 2: An introduction to kumiko: “I’ll explain how to make a square kumiko frame using a crosscut sled and finger joint jigs. I’ll then demonstrate how to make the asa-ho-ha pattern using just a chisel and a few guide blocks to pare angles into the ends of strips of wood. These strips fit into the frame (no glue) like a puzzle and together create the pattern.”

The cost of this workshop is $10.

Read more

As the owner of MEK Woodworks, Matt teaches both nationally and internationally. He hosts a podcast entitled the Matt and Joe Woodworking Fun Hour. And most recently, he has begun to offer online classes. A full list of his upcoming teaching engagements are listed here.

A few years ago, Matt decided he was going to challenge himself to make 52 boxes in 52 weeks. The result was an exploration in not only box making, but design and aesthetics. Eventually, his work led to him writing a book about his experience and improving one’s design skills. It is available on in his online store: 52 Boxes in 52 Weeks: Improve Your Design Skills One Box At A Time. You can also find his book, The Art of Kumiko: Learn to Make Beautiful Panels by Hand, there as well.

The Zoom link for the Friday meeting will be sent to members via email.

Our Friday meetings and lectures will begin at 6:45 this year. Guest presentations will begin around 7:00pm.

More general information about the nature and format of our meetings and lectures (at normal times) is available here.