When the Chopstick Master Inspires those who Inspire Us…

Drivel Starved Nation-

One of the cool aspects of teaching at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking are the fellow instructors you get to meet.

One year, years ago, my classroom was directly across the hall from the turning studio. The instructor? Michael Hosaluk.

I was well aware of Michael’s work  because I like whimsy and it is hard to do well. His work is just plain awesome. (Michael won the Canadian equivalent of our McArthur Award, also known as a genius grant, which meant he got a pile of free money.)

As instructors, we found ourselves dining together and you would think that we spent our evenings drinking beer (true) and talking about woodworking or tools (false).  We are both really old hockey players and spend our time together explaining what we would do to each other on the ice, Michael was a defenseman and I played right wing. The carnage is unimaginable…  Forget the fact that today, lacing up skates is more work than playing the game itself.

Michael is one of the finest teachers I have ever met, he teaches in rarified air and is just one of those guys that does not have an enemy in the world — except me of course… He is just so “cushy” looking that I would love to slam him into the boards, it would feel like being dropped from the top of a ten story building into a pile of a thousand feather pillows. He adamantly claims that would be impossible because after he jams the butt end of his stick into my throat and whacks the tendons on the back of one knee I will be  gurney bound…  I digress.

Michael owns a Chopstick Master and today I received pictures of what this tool inspired him to make; rice bowls made out of …rice!  How cool is that?

If this doesn’t inspire you to make something, nothing will. Why are you here reading this drivel? Go make something!

Oh, one more thing. Michael and Mark Sfirri (another uber talented and cool dude) are tag teaching a class this summer. You should consider taking it, I guarantee you will not regret it. In fact…

I would take this class myself, but I am still recovering from my hockey injuries. Thanks Hosaluk.



PS:  We just heard from a DSN member that there are round trip airfares from Boston to Shanghai for under $300 if you are considering the BCTW Epic Field Trip….

6 comments on this post:

  1. Those rice bowls are just so frikkin’ cool!!! What a brilliant idea. Is the rice embedded in epoxy? So many possibilities.

    I’m thinking that I’m glad I never played hockey. I’d probably still be in a ditch somewhere in Portland. Or hospital. Will you be training Speedy?

    Thank you so much for sharing. Very inspirational.

  2. Many great instructors are teaching at Marc Adams this year, well, except for a certain one who may or may not have been given the the nickname “no show Jonny” by Marc himself.

    Those are really nice bowls- turning has become a very creative and artistic field in woodworking.

  3. I regret not getting to one of your classes. A JMP instruction book or video tutorial on *operation* would be exceedingly useful to me and, presumably, others who don’t have the knack for figuring it out. The videos already on YouTube regretably haven’t done the trick for me.

  4. Request noted. That said, it is a saw, and it is very precise. It’s why it is named the Jointmaker, because dovetails and tenons can be made very precise and fast without juice.

    With creative fixturing, you can push it to do things that are only limited by your imagination. My “Fog of War” sculpture is one such example. All the pieces and the surface were done on the JMP.

  5. First you turn a small bowl. According to Michael, Sushi rice is best. The individual kernels are held in place on the exterior of the bowl with acrylic gel. The he fills the voids with acrylic moulding paste mixed with lamp black. When dry, the outside is turned and polished revealing the remaining half of the rice. I don’t have any further details to share, so experiment!

    On one of the bowls, the inside is gold leaf and the other is red acrylic paint.


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