Article Index Design Matters

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Design Matters: Not Just Any Hat Will Do

Let function and proportion be your guide when designing a top. by George Walker page 20 Growing up, I was never one for wearing hats – that was until fresh out of high school when I headed west to work on a cattle ranch high in the mountains of Montana. My brother looked me...

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Design Matters: Fair Curves

Dave Fisher designs bowls by touch as well as sight. by George R. Walker page 18 The words “fair curve” get tossed around by designers, chairmakers and especially by boatbuilders. It’s almost impossible to pin down any of those folks and get a precise definition. About the best you might hear is that a...

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Sketch a Volute Freehand

Use this classic, graceful curved form to punctuate your work. by George Walker pages 20 -22 Our craft is never far from the forest. Aside from harvesting timber, food and fuel from the woodlands, we harvest ideas and inspiration. The leaf duff covering the forest soil gives way to the green shoots of a...

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Improvisation

Modifying a design means more than simply scaling. by George Walker pages 18-19 How do you modify a design without making a hash of it? It’s a common question that dogs even the experienced woodworker. Any good cook knows that simply doubling ingredients is asking for trouble. Somehow those flavors that danced together in...

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Design Matters: Make the Most of Figured Maple

The right orientation adds shimmer and pop to your work. by George R. Walker pages 18-20 The barn loft was hot and dusty – and especially so after digging through piles of rough lumber for wide cherry boards at the bottom of the stack. We took a break outside for some fresh air and sat on a...

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Design Matters: Rustication

Furniture design is a chip off the old block. by George R. Walker pages 20-22 An old proverb states that architecture is the mother of all arts. Of all the related decorative arts, furniture is most closely wedded to architecture, and all major furniture styles up through the early 20th century were inspired by an architectural parent....

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Design Matters: Train Your Eye

Good, better or best? Small details and design decisions make a difference. By George R. Walker Pages 18-20 It’s every manufacturer’s dream to have “one size fit all.” Yet imagine a trip to the shoe store and upon arriving, you discover they offer only one size. We understand clearly that function is tied directly to size; a...

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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...