Posts Tagged 'Custom made'

Three Chairs

Here are a few pictures of the chairs I’ve just finished making for a commission I’ve mentioned previously.

Arm ChairBench SeatSide Chair

Designing Furniture

Hello fellow wood/furniture enthusiasts,

In continuation to my previous post on Commissioned Chairs I thought I’d demonstrate my way of going about designing a commission or indeed simply designing a piece of furniture.

In relation to a commission I start by viewing the proposed space for the item to be designed and made. Following this I start filtering through the ideas of the (usually very excited) clients, narrowing down the some what ridiculous list, until I can see a tangible correlation between ideas forming what I foresee to be a good basis to begin my research.

Research I hear some of you saying. Let me put it this way; as my professor stated (something to the likes of): “furniture has been made for thousands of years, to come up with something completely new is relatively impossible. However to refine and better those designs of the past; To look forward to the future and to embrace the past, is the way to success.”

Yes it is important as a designer not to copy what has gone before as this would be the end of creative spirit, and would reduce me to just another ‘cog in the chain’ – a machine of repetition – devoid of individualism and self-growth.

Anyway back to research. So now that I have an idea of the clients needs and wants and I have viewed the area in which the piece is to be placed I turn to the past in order to point me in the right direction for the future. I sometimes feel (well actually nearly always feel) overwhelmed by the requirement as a designer-maker to come up with something ‘new’. Thus through looking at past pieces, which have aspects of the styles fulfilling the clients, and indeed my desires, I begin sketch. The sketching could simply be the piece I am viewing or could be a variation of the article in question, developing a series of ‘thumbnail’ drawings; crisscrossing and interweaving spontaneous ideas of my own to ideas of those before me.

From here it’s a matter of elimination and development of concepts. At some stage I put down the sketchbook and start making models (if I can I also make 1:1 models). It is this combination of research, sketching and model making which leads to a well thought out and refined design. A design which hopefully satisfies my clients and most importantly myself.

A development of ideas

A development of ideas

Commissioned Chairs

Thought i’d put up some images of the scale models I have been making for a commission.

I Upon completion of the two scale 1:10 models I placed them at the corresponding table model. It was clear straight away that there were dimension issues. The chairs seemed too big for the table. As an old country chair perhaps the size would have been ok, however in a modern environment against that table it did not sit well.

The table is quite large so the chairs needed to be adapted to sit in harmony with the table. I hoped to overcome this issue by reducing the chair size attempting to maintain its proportions. From here my colleague designing the table and I decided to produce larger scale (1:75) models. This was in the hope of clarifying the proportion issues.

From this model I realised that by removing the splay from the seat to reduce the size of the chair and reduce the complication of the joinery the chair lost its finesse.  It resulted in the chair looking bulky and bland, loosing its flow and invitation. (The photo is quite flattering though)

Thus there is much more designing required so enough blabber, it’s back to the drawing board.

Bed Side Tables

These bedside tables have been constructed using the traditional drawer and frame construction. This consists on many tenon joints (usually double tenons) with complementary haunched tenons and dovetails. Ranging from a whopping eight to ten joints per leg, all of course hand done. You wouldn’t believe this would you from looking at them. I would like to point out now that there is a reason why the most prestigious and debated joint is the ‘secret dovetail’. It’s because a good craftsmen doesn’t need to show off his goods! Craftsmen pride themselves on quality, therefore the choice of the joint shouldn’t be for grandeur or show but for its practicality. When viewing a piece where someone has sought to prostrate their joinery, and especially if it is the wrong type for the purpose required, then I only look on with disgust. A good piece of furniture shouldn’t need the grandeur of displayed joinery to sell it, that is a failure in design!

Bedside Tables

Bedside Tables

Practise Joint for leg construction

Practise Joint for leg construction

Practise Joint assembled

Practise Joint assembled

Please excuse the dates on these images – camera troubles

Begining to get to know my work

Whilst you can read a longwinded explanation of who I am and what I’m about I thought I’d let you view my work. Please feel free to comment and open discussion on them. Also I am interested in what you are up to so leave links!!!

A Cabinet of Curiosity

A Cabinet of Curiosity

A Cabinet of Cruiosity
A Cabinet of Cruiosity
Cabinet of Curiosity

Cabinet of Curiosity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Made from American Cherry and Birdseye Maple. Some of the joinery includes hand cut dovetails, laped mitres and birdsbead tenons with complementry  table saw and routed splined mitres.