The Knowhow Shop LA is a design/build/DIY workshop in Highland Park, owned and operated by architects, Kagan Taylor and Justin Rice. These two run their own firm out of here, working with clients big and small. In between their client work, they open their studio as an educational/DIY center for folks interested in learning and working on their own projects with wood. They have a range of tools from band saws, sanders, power saws, laser cutters, and even a CNC router. Anything you want to make with wood, you can pretty much do here. Both Kagan and Justin are great teachers and love to share their knowledge of wood with those that are interested. They are not only enabling people to create, but, in turn building a community of makers.
This past weekend, artist and KnowHowShop collaborator Linda Hsiao held a workshop for creating wooden cooking utensils. If you remember, Linda was in the Los Angeles, I’m Yours show we held a couple years back at Space 15Twenty. When I first saw images of the tools that Linda was making, I fell in love instantly. Her utensils are rustic, imperfect, yet beautiful and elegant.
During the two day class, Linda took us through the entire process, from sketching out the design in pencil, milling using the CNC router, doing rough cuts with the bandsaw, finishing with the sander, and finally creating a food safe oil for our new kitchen tools. Linda is an extremely generous teacher, always helping and giving tips along the way, it was an amazing experience to learn how to make these from scratch. Kitchen tools are often things you thoughtlessly pick up in a superstore out of necessity… but, these pieces took on the style of the maker, everyone infused their own personal style into their pieces. Mine tended to be geometric and full of imperfect facets, while others tended to be smooth, round, and more polished. Once finished, they all looked beautiful together, their utility was obvious, but more importantly, you see the time, love and creativity that went into them. They were no longer just tools, but, works of art.