Thursday, September 12, 2013

Kind'a Sketchy

Oriental Influence Bench Concept
Entry Hall Concept Pieces
Which came first, skills in design or manufacture? This is a tough question, without the skills to execute a design, it comes off lacking, but without a good design, a perfectly joined, inlaid piece will look equally fit for the burn pile. So you need both at the same time; making reproductions is a good way to start to develop your tool skills prior while delaying developing design. Making prototypes or multiples of the same design are another way to work, refining the same design to something perfected (Maloof) but a luxury I don't have most of the time.

Bar Cabinet Concepts
influenced by C&B
Sketching is probably the essential skill to develop, drawing on every scrap of paper you can find handy as you think of any idea wherever and whenever, who knows where the most incoherent of scrawling will take you either on the project at hand or at a later date. This doesn't mean you need to be DaVinci, but as you draw more, your eye & hand will work better to refine what you like and hopefully why.
Among the blogs I follow are several that have a definite design focus while still being woodworking, it helps to surround yourself with such ideas. Here are a few; they are all more accomplished than myself, but in case you haven't run across them, you'll want to add them to your feeds, (feel free to mention others you've found in comments):
You can find a surprising amount of great designers among the tool makers. Konrad Sauer, Raney Nelson and Jameel Abrams clearly have an eye for design and on occasion talk about their design process or how they create new tools or see things, this helps me to use my own eyes more critically when I look at my sketches. And I also find that Richard and Helen often spark great discussion on design related topics.
Some Small Plane & lever Cap I'll probably never make

I've included some of my sketches here to illustrate the concept and archive some pieces of paper floating around (also I like blogs to have pictures) Paper and pencil is the way to go, freeing you from the constraints of CAD in the early stages. (If anyone has found a good way for archiving paper sketches and for getting them to look good once digitized, please leave a comment)
Full size layout on reused (oil changes?) cardboard
Mom's Shoe Bench
Pizza Peel
Feminine Backsaw Handle
Mom's Bench Ideas
Backsaw handle (and oil rag evidently)
Note disused pizza peel in corner

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