Design workshops are a horse of a different color. The focus isn’t on a single project, but instead on every project you build going forward. OK – if you must have a clear idea of a project before signing on, my design workshops project involves a bit of demolition, setting a foundation, erecting walls, staircases, installing windows, running miles of new wiring, and it all takes place inside your head. Oh, and we accomplish all of this with a pair of dividers, a stick, and a pencil.
Students run the gamut from beginning woodworkers, to professional carpenters, graphic designers, engineers, free thinking artistic spirits, to the average Joe who just wants to take his or her work to another level.
Some common themes resonate with all. Everyone senses when a design looks right, but most can’t go much past just a vague feeling. After a workshop, that inner sense is decidedly stronger and students can begin to pinpoint why a design works or fails. Much of this progress results from getting a firm grip on what you already know intuitively.
That simmering doubt surrounding proportions evaporates. Yet, this is not about recipes or formulas. Students get the opportunity play and experiment with proportions, much like learning how spices combine to create depth of flavor in a good chili. This quickly leads to the ability to unpack proportions in the wild. Great buildings, furniture, and works of art reveal their secrets and become a practical source of inspiration.
Most notice a marked improvement in the designs coming off their pencil by day two, and the ability to execute and self critique takes a dramatic step forward. Treat yourself to a weekend in 2015 that will change every aspect of your woodworking by attending a By Hand & Eye Design Workshop. Here’s a list of dates and locations for the coming year.
January 24 – 25, 2015 Hudson Ohio, R. Grell Fine Woodworking Workshops
February 20 -22 Phoenix, Southwest School of Woodworking
August 8 – 9 Warren Maine, Lie-Nielsen Toolworks
Oct 17 – 18, Franklin IN, Marc Adams
George R. Walker