article index design matters

Fine-Tuning Furniture Designs

Minor adjustments typically beat a hatchet job.  by George Walker pages 18-20 I knew a guy who didn’t shave or cut his hair for 12 months at a time. On day 365 he looked like the wild man from Borneo. On day 366 (or day 1 of the next cycle), he would show up...

See Like a Designer

Look for the ‘bones’ to observe how form defines design. by George Walker pages 16-18 It happens during almost every furniture design workshop. At the start of day two, a carload of students shows up 20 minutes late. One would think they’d be embarrassed, but instead they burst in all giggly and excited. Then...

Design Matters: Mouldings Got a Start in the Gutter

Woodwork and architecture share some surprising DNA. by George R. Walker pgs. 16-18 I am a country mouse who likes to visit the city. It’s a habit that doesn’t make much sense, because I’ve always preferred walking in the woods to dodging traffic. But when my design quest led me into the world of...

Small Surprises, by Design

New Hampshire designer Jim Zink’s organic pieces are filled with lessons. by George R. Walker pgs. 18-20 Every time the subject of design comes up with a builder, I’m keen to know what inspires them – what is at the center of their inner drive. Many talented designers have a background in art. This...

Mastery Through Repetition

Practice is the best of all instructors. by George R. Walker pgs. 18-20 Maynard lived next door. When he wasn’t spinning wrenches at the local Ford garage, he was out in his driveway, hunched over a neighbor’s car. As a kid I spent hours leaning over a fender, watching him perform what seemed like...

Design Matters: If Doors Could Talk

Door construction contains lessons on proportion and visual weight.   by George Walker pgs. 20-22 The directions to Thuya Garden in Northeast Harbor, Maine, were on a scrap of yellow paper held tightly in one hand. I craned my neck out the car window, searching for the hidden lane. My wife, Barb, wondered aloud if...

Design Matters: Ideas that Jump Off the Page

Isometric views help keep your designs grounded. by George R. Walker pages 20-22 The kite leapt into the wind and I frantically uncoiled string that burned and chafed my hands and fingers. The thin wooden crossbeams bent almost to the breaking point again and again as the wind buffeted the kite, until finally it...

Design Matters: Graduated Drawers

Ancient architecture provides a starting point for tall chest design. by George R. Walker pages 16-18 Far back in our past, one of our early ancestors cobbled together a box with a lid and created a furniture form still in use today. Wooden chests, sometimes equipped with fancy locks and hinges, were used store...

Jim Sannerud Bowl

Design Matters: Look Beneath the Surface

Learn the hidden order that speaks a common craft language. by George R. Walker pages 18-20 Jim Sannerud is a gifted artisan who turns wooden bowls that are inspired by the rich tradition of Scandinavian woodcraft. Recently, I was admiring his work when the conversation shifted to clay potters who turn their work on...