Article Index George R. Walker

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Design Matters: A Chairmaker’s Design Lessons

The Windsor form survives trial by fire. By George R. Walker Pages 16-18 The blaze started sometime after midnight. A weak spot in the chimney broke and glowing embers spilled out onto dry timbers. By the time the fire crew arrived and strung hoses from a nearby stream, it was all they could do to keep the...

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Design Matters: A Practiced Eye

Straight lines will help you generate pleasing curves. By George R. Walker Pages 18-20 I know a potter who’s worked clay on a wheel for more than a quarter-century. His practiced eye has a keen sense for curved forms, honed by shaping tens of thousands of pots. I admire his work and also the fact that he...

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Design Matters: Look Beneath the Surface

Find valuable design lessons (and templates) in furniture ‘bones.’ By George R. Walker Pages 20-22 The average Jill might look at the little chest of drawers shown on this page and say, “What a nice furniture piece; it’s perfect for a nightstand. What kind of wood is that?” The average Joe might reply, “It’s tiger maple, and has...

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Honing in on Proportions

Small changes can make a big design difference – and help train your eye. By George R. Walker Pages 18-19 How do you dial in the proportions on a furniture design? I used to pose that question a lot. Perhaps what makes this puzzling is the fact that small differences can have a dramatic effect. The line...

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Design Matters: Design by Proportion

Simple adjustments in ratios can produce pleasing and functional results. By George R. Walker Pages 60-62 My wife, Barb, set a bag of groceries on the kitchen counter and said, “I saw a great work table – will you build me one?” On the surface it sounded like a simple request, but I’ve been down this road before....

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Design Matters: Sketching: It’s All in Your Mind

Try this exercise to unlock imagination. By George R. Walker Pages: 18-20 From the February 2012 issue #195 Buy the issue now. In the first century B.C.E., a military architect named Vitruvius captured the distinction between a designer’s mind and the minds of the rest of us. “For all men, not just architects, are capable of appreciating quality; but...

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Design Matters: Why Design?

Developing your skills is a journey of discovery. By George R. Walker Pages: 20-22 From the December 2011 issue #194 Buy the issue now My brother and I gazed at a sunset from a rocky perch high atop Boulder Pass in Glacier National Park. A ball of orange slipped behind the jagged peaks way out there somewhere toward...

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Design Matters: Curve Appeal

Getting off the straight path can be liberating. By George R. Walker Pages: 22-23 From the October 2011 issue #192 Buy this issue now I can see it with my eyes shut: a curving stretch of highway snaking past Otter Cliffs in Acadia National Park. Each twist in the road opens up a jaw-dropping vista of...