Tabletop stool part 1: My most unique commission to date

Building a commissioned piece is one of the most exciting aspects of being a designer/maker.

Early this fall in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, I gave a workshop on making cutting boards (I will blog about it in the future). A few months passed since and I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from one of the participants asking me if I would be interested in building a commissioned piece for him. He told me that he would like to order a present for his girlfriend, a small piece of furniture to fulfill a unique – perhaps even an unusual purpose of elevating a soup-bowl from the table top towards the mouth. In order to make it more comfortable to eat soup and avoid neck-strain my client's GF had been placing her soup bowl on a stack of books. Having a nice little stool to replace the books was a nice and creative idea which was both functional and beautiful. Once I knew how high the stool needed to be I set forth to sketch some ideas. I drew a few options which vary in their levels of complexity, look, and estimated labor involved in building them. While brian-storming some ideas I mentioned that the furniture can include a personal dedication, such as featuring the girlfriend's name or her nickname. As a die-hard romantic myself I was touched by my clients suggestion that he would like to have a carrot and a rabbit included in some manner on the stool, ideally engraved in. Carrot and rabbit are the terms of endearment they use for one another. 

Here are the design options:

These were the more simple options. After I finished sketching them I made a fifth sketch with a more complex and intense design that included graceful curves, notched rail and a top that incorporate under-beveled edges.  

Next time I will show which option was elected and how I started building the stool.

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Yoav Liberman

About Yoav Liberman

Yoav S. Liberman is a woodworker and a teacher. His pieces have been featured in several woodworking books, most recently in Robin Wood’s CORES Recycled. Yoav teaches woodworking at the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan, and also frequently guest teaches in craft schools across the country.  Between 2003 and 2011 Yoav  headed the woodworking program at Harvard University's Eliot House. Yoav’s articles have appeared in American Woodworker and Woodwork Magazine. He frequently contributes woodworking web content to a number of digital publications   Yoav has a degree in architecture and later held two competitive residency programs: at The Worcester Center for Crafts in Massachusetts, and the Windgate Foundation Fellowship at Purchase College, New York. He lives in Chestnut Ridge NY.