Category Archives: Design Basics

Inch or Metric?

Machinists are spinning in their graves at what I’m about to share and I can’t quite believe it myself. It’s hard to explain the attachment one gets to a measuring system when you’ve made a living dodging hot steel chips … Continue reading

Posted in Design Basics, Design Book, proportions, tools | 7 Comments

Design at the Point of a Tool

The February issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine prompted a woodworker to ask if I could give a little detail about the tool rack lurking in the background. Actually this plain but very functional tool storage rack was an early exercise in … Continue reading

Posted in Design Basics, proportions | 15 Comments

Proportions add life to a design

Gaining fresh new insights working on the upcoming Lost Art Press book on design. As often happens when teaching or writing, the process forces you to flip over more stones in the creek bottom to see what might scurry out. I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Design Basics, Design Book, proportions | 4 Comments

Right up to the edge

Just back  from a week in the Northwest with Jim Tolpin working on our upcoming book on furniture design. I was reminded while eating some amazing king salmon why I never order seafood back home. In the midwest we’ve got pork nailed, but nothing  … Continue reading

Posted in Design Basics, proportions | 2 Comments

Timeless Contemporary

Many times I hear woodworkers venture their honest thoughts about contemporary design. It often goes something like this – “I’m really drawn to contemporary work, but…” The “but” is usually followed by some head scratching mostly because the word contemporary … Continue reading

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Apprentice sketchbook June 2011

I love to read but never would have dreamed that I’d spend so much time devouring obscure historical design texts from the 17th through early 19th centuries. From a writing standpoint the language is obtuse, wordy, confusing, haughty, and just … Continue reading

Posted in Apprentice Sketchbook, Design Basics | 12 Comments

Apprentice Sketchbook Feb 2011

 This is something I’m really excited to share with you. Corresponding with each new issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, I’ll be supplementing my “Design Matters” column with a series of what I call the Apprentice Sketchbook. A throwback to period … Continue reading

Posted in Apprentice Sketchbook, Design Basics | 17 Comments

Design Sourcebook

I hear this question a lot. “What book could I recommend to dive deeper into design? “ My brain freezes at that point. Reason is, the path I’ve taken is filled with blind rabbit holes, quick sand, and endlessly verbose historical … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Design Basics, Resources | 6 Comments

Structure

It never fails to amaze me that many of the debates we thrash about with furniture design have been the subject of much thought for centuries, even millennia. Ornament in its many forms seems to draw fire and always seems … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Design Basics, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Structure

Tool Event

If you haven’t been able to break free to attend one of the Lie-Nielsen hand tool events, here’s what you’re missing out on. I spent the weekend in Cincinnati at the tool event at the Popular Woodworking headquarters. Notice the … Continue reading

Posted in Design Basics, tools | 2 Comments