From time to time the Buzz Saw will be showcasing some of the talented woodworkers who work at Rockler Companies. (We have quite a few, as you might guess!)
This week, we'd like to introduce you to Chris Nilluka, who is the Assistant Manager at our Beaverton, Oregon store. When asked for a picture of his favorite woodworking project, Chris replied that it was difficult for him to pick just one. "Not because I think everything I do is amazing," he joked, "but because I have different facets of woodworking that I enjoy." So included here are pictures of Chris' top favorite piece from each genre that he works in: woodturning, box making, and bladesmithing.
Chris has been woodworking for over six years, and he started out with making a special gift for his father.
My start was actually in making custom knives. I found a knife kit online for a particular kind of knife that my nationality carries, called a puuko. I thought, "...there's a neat idea, I'll make one for me and one for my dad for Christmas." After that I was hooked. My knife-making was relatively successful, until all my tools broke at once. Over time they have slowly been replaced. I still make knives, just not as much as I used to.
See an example of Chris' bladesmithing above right. This skinning knife is made of dyed and stabilized Maple burl scales, and 1095 clay hardened steel. Next he got a second-hand lathe and started woodturning. He seems to have picked it up and become expert at it quite quickly, as you can see from the picture, right, of the Brown Mallee lidded vessel with Ebony finial and foot! Beautiful!
Next was box making. The picture at left is a earring box Chris made for his daughter. Notice how the book-matched spalted Maple burl lid and Goncalo Alves handle give the impression of a butterfly. The sides are of Jatoba. Chris points out, "The box joint corners are kind of unique as they are over-cut, which I think has a neat effect." Chris donates many of his pieces to help raise money for various charities. His work can also be purchased on his website. Visit Chris Nilluka Designs, to see more of his fine work! You can see from these lovely pieces, that when you step into our Beaverton store, you've got a really talented craftsperson you can talk to in Chris Nilluka.