Monday, November 30, 2009

The maquette...

As part of the design process I believe in creating a scale model or maquette of the full scale piece or work I am creating.

"A maquette (French word for scale model is a small scale model or rough draft of an unfinished architectural work or a sculpture. It is used to visualize and test shapes and ideas without incurring the cost and effort of producing a full scale product."

I often use maquettes to visualize my design in three dimensions. The maquette also serves to determine if both the proportions and the aesthetic of the piece are correct, which is to say visually appealing. There can be a fair amount of time spent on actually creating the maquette but typically it is of no cost and the benefit is tremendous. I make my maquette from scrap wood and the process becomes one of experimentation. Often the maquette will help identify any issues which can arise in the creation of the larger, full scale piece. Another benefit is to help determine the stability of the full scale piece. The maquette is essentially a scaled down version of the larger work so the inherent characteristics are there but on a smaller level.


The maquette in the photo above began as the base of a hall table I recently designed and created. The orientation of the maquette has the arches of the base in a V-shape. This maquette is based on the final drawings for the hall table. After creating the maquette I realized that I much preferred an inverted orientation. It made more sense to me as the points of the arches could serve as the legs without creating a base as illustrated in the maquette. I also realized that I could easily minimize the number of arches to simply two, one in the front and one in the rear. This updated design also greatly minimized the technical details of creating the hall table.

The original design of the hall table base as illustrated in this maquette is something I would like to pursue at a later date as it is quite intriguing. In conclusion, the process of initially creating a scale model or maquette greatly alleviates any doubts about a design. I can now feel confident pursuing the full scale version that I am on the correct path. In my next post I will show the completed hall table with the modified base...

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