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auction2020

Furniture auction 2020!

Measurement and Mathematics Applied: Traditional New Mexican Woodcarving

Our traditional New Mexican woodcarving program provides a unique interdisciplinary experience for our sixth-grade students. They practice precision in calculation and measurement as they develop their own geometric design, inspired by the rich Moorish traditions of our region. With the focus and hand-eye coordination necessary to the task, the girls apprentice to a master woodcarver who guides them as they practice their new skills and, finally, carve their intricate design onto fine, handcrafted traditional pine furniture.

Auction one: Blanket Chest

This Handmade Traditional New Mexican Chest (Caja de Doñas) is made of native New Mexico pine.  It’s craftsmanship is of the highest quality and is inspired by the Moorish design brought by the Spanish to the New Mexican frontier hundreds of year ago. Apprentice carvers at the Santa Fe Girls’ School designed and carved the chest, under the guidance of master wood-carver, furniture-maker, and native New Mexican Miguel Chavez. Chavez hand-plans and assembles the piece with traditional mortise and tennon joinery.  He hand-rubs natural stain from local Santa Fe business, Bio-Shield, which manufactures minimally toxic paints and stains from natural and renewable sources.  The piece is finished with hand-forged iron hardware from Shihan Fine Knives of Santa Fe.

The Chest is sold to raise funds for the Santa Fe Girls’ School’s Traditional New Mexican Woodcarving program. This yearly, 4-month long project is a cross-disciplinary, hands-on program that connects New Mexico history, art and mathematics. Sixth grade Santa Fe Girls’ School students create their own artistic interpretations of Islamic-inspired, carved designs found in traditional New Mexican furniture. They learn and practice calculations with fractions and apply their math expertise to design and create geometrical designs. They use rulers, compasses and protractors to establish the precise measurements. Once confident and expert in managing their carving chisels, the girls learn to sequence these parts into patterns. When viewed as a whole, the arrangements of the parts merge into an impressively intricate and elaborate design.

Cajas, or chests, were among the most important furniture items that New Mexican colonists owned. Even people who could not afford tables or beds would still have a caja to store valuables and tools safely.

Auction two: set of side chairs

This Set of Handmade Traditional New Mexican Chairs is of the highest quality and is inspired by the Moorish design brought by the Spanish to the New Mexican frontier hundreds of year ago. Apprentice carvers at the Santa Fe Girls’ School designed and carved the chairs, under the guidance of master wood-carver, furniture-maker, and native New Mexican Miguel Chavez. Chavez hand-plans and assembles the pieces with traditional mortise and tennon joinery. They are made of solid native New Mexico pine. The chairs are three fourths-size of chairs today. This was a traditional size during New Mexico’s colonial period. Certainly, people tended to be of smaller stature compared to today, but also furniture was made minimally to preserve material and labor.

The chairs are sold to raise funds for the Santa Fe Girls’ School’s Traditional New Mexican Woodcarving program. This 4-month long project is a cross-disciplinary, hands-on program that connects New Mexico history, art and mathematics. Every year, sixth grade Santa Fe Girls’ School students create their own artistic interpretations of Islamic-inspired, carved designs found in traditional New Mexican furniture. They learn and practice calculations with fractions and apply their math expertise to design and create geometrical designs. They use rulers, compasses and protractors to establish the precise measurements. Once confident in managing their carving chisels, the girls learn to sequence these parts into patterns. When viewed as a whole, the arrangements of the parts merge into an impressively intricate and elaborate design.

Enjoy this charming chair set anywhere in your house!