Design matters is about building warm inviting furniture. It’s an extension of my column featured in Popular Woodworking Magazine . Here you’ll find a much less edited view of my design journey. A chance to include more detail, but also take a dive down a few blind rabbit holes that are part of the natural process of working through a design. I’d also like to introduce you to a lot of creative artisans. Some from my past like Rudy who had an ornery penchant for all things ugly, but in truth had a great eye, as well as working artisans who today are continuing to add to our great furniture design heritage.
I use the term traditional a lot. The doesn’t automatically mean “old furniture”. In a nutshell it means that my creative imagination is fueled and nurtured by a simple time-honored approach. I’m constantly inspired by models of great work, including great furniture, architecture, and art. My design eye is always glancing back in time at masterful work which actually grows my appreciation for well executed contemporary work. I’m always trying to understand more about proportions and visual harmony. It’s a mystery why we are attracted to some things and repulsed by others. No one knows why the song of a white throated sparrow delights our ears in springtime. There’s a lot of cross-pollination between visual arts and music and I’m forever exploring those links. Great design is almost always about making connections. The models that I study to train the eye are always connected to nature, that wellspring that forever feeds the imagination.
A lot of the information I share is the result of many hours pouring through historical design literature, much of it focused on architecture. I’m always looking for those nuggets that our forebears understood, but were tossed aside when industrialization severed the chain of knowledge passed down from master to apprentice.