Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Design (2)

In my previous post I discuss the concept of hatching a design and transferring it to paper. I now have a sketch on a pad and need to evolve this sketch into an object. At this stage I begin to refine the design, since it is but a sketch at this point. The sketch now evolves into a drawing with more defined, straight and equidistant lines. This process involves a few iterations and I build from my previous drawing with each of the iterations. This process results in a drawing which closely resembles the wood object I wish to create. Although the shape of the object has been essentially defined, an important component of the design is yet to come. Many of my designs have the type of wood and the grain graphics of the wood as the focal point. I usually begin with the design and then select woods with interesting graphics. Graphics is another word for grain pattern and the mix of heartwood and sapwood on a board, which can be either pronounced or subdued. I then spend time determining how to incorporate this interesting wood into the design.

On occasion, I instead create a design around a particularly interesting board or set of boards which have exciting, interesting graphics. Basing a design around a particular board or set of boards can be quite challenging, and I like to rise to challenges. I find challenging myself expands my skills and provides me a different outlook on the design process. Instead of a methodical approach, it is instead "material based" for lack of a better set of words.

These are my two approaches to design. The first one involves drawing and refining a design and then acquiring a selection of woods to make the piece. The second approach involves having wood with interesting graphics and basing a design around this wood. This approach is more of an artistic approach to my craft, whereas the first approach I would say is the craftsman method. They both have their place and serve a purpose. I typically use the artistic approach for speculative work and use the more structured craftsman method for commissions where a design needs to be defined. Once the design is fairly complete and drawings ready, the technical details are determined. These details involve the dimensions of the individual pieces of wood, the joinery involved, is there any alternative media in the piece?

I get excited about finding a board or boards with interesting graphics and color and then creating an object with this wood. This must be the artist in me...

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