Monthly Archives: December 2009

Vantage point

   In my youth I barely survived a period now referred to as the “Running down the down escalator of life. “ My judgment was severely impaired by high levels of testosterone poisoning. One night I lost control of a … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Design Basics | 4 Comments

Some thought on furniture reproductions…

John Sexton a nationally renowned photographer commenting on the need to master the basics said the following –  “I am unaware of an educational institution with a good music program that does not offer instruction in the piano, even though … Continue reading

Posted in Resources | 5 Comments

Smoking out proportions…

Years ago I wrote an article (issue 186) for Fine Woodworking Magazine about documenting a piece of furniture in a museum. It actually was meant to help open doors with woodworkers at local historical centers and gain access to furniture that … Continue reading

Posted in Design Basics, proportions | 4 Comments

Proportioning furniture for a room…

  This time of year takes me back to some memories of delivering newspapers as a kid.  For a ten-year, old dragging heavy loads of papers in snow and slush was a sort of purgatory.  There were few bright spots except the season brought out … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Design Basics, proportions | 5 Comments

Leg work…..

I’ve been looking at a lot of pictures of furniture legs and how they are proportioned. One thing that comes to mind is that a lot of designs include some sort of taper. If you look at a classic order … Continue reading

Posted in Design Basics, proportions | 9 Comments

Specifications and tolerances

   I had the good fortune almost thirty five years ago to land an apprenticeship to become a machinist. It was the tail end of an era just before everything went digital and cnc. Apprentices spent the first two years … Continue reading

Posted in Design Basics, proportions | 5 Comments

Not just plain vanilla…

Years ago we were painting a room and my wife sent me to the store to get a gallon of paint. She gave me a paint swatch and said, “Have them mix a can of eggshell white in semi-gloss.” Well … Continue reading

Posted in proportions | 1 Comment

Practice training your eye

Years ago I thought cutting good tight dovetails with hand tools was something beyond my reach. My first few efforts were pitiful. In bowling terms I threw a lot of gutter balls. But something told me that I could do this … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Design Basics | 9 Comments

Something familiar….

I appreciate the thoughtful comments offered up on this “Design Matters” blog. Several stand out that have helped me fill in some blanks and see things in a fresh way.  Jim Tolpin made this comment a couple of weeks ago that got … Continue reading

Posted in Design Basics | 3 Comments

Proportions and big guns

Last week I’ve been reading Robertson’s “A Treatise of Mathematical Instruments”. It’s a reprint of an 18th century British work that includes some passages dealing with proportions. I ran across a few more nuggets that to me were interesting or … Continue reading

Posted in Design Basics, Resources | 5 Comments