Design Matters: ‘Good Eye’


Awaken your inner design sense with just a little practice.
By George R. Walker
Pages: 20-22

From the February 2010 issue #181
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Talk about design often leads back to the idea of developing a good eye. For a long time I wrestled with this; it seemed a bit like trying to lasso the wind. I knew I wasn’t alone, either. Frequently I talk to woodworkers who struggle with making design judgments by eye.

I hear them say, “I look at a piece of furniture and I know in my gut something’s a bit off, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.” It may be just a simple detail like sizing the rails on a frame-and-panel door. You know there’s a fine line between sturdy and clunky – it’s just not clear where that line is.

If that happens to you, your inner design sense, or eye, is telling you something. The good news is that you can train your eye. It’s not something learned in a day, but just like mastering a skill like sharpening a chisel, your eye can be trained. You’ll be able to tackle design problems with renewed confidence and even venture out creatively further than you thought possible.


From the February 2010 issue #181
Buy this issue now