Furniture Design

Rohlf and Stickley floriform tables

Rohlfs & Stickley: A Case of Flowery Inspiration

Darrell Peart raised an interesting questions during my recent web seminar on “Unkown Arts & Crafts” for Popular Woodworking University. He noted the similarities between one of Rohlfs’ tables and the poppy table by Gustav Stickley and asked if one maker influenced the other. Both tables share a similar form — trunk-like slab legs...

The turned legs of this coffee table designed by Finn Juhl present a challenge for the latheless.

Design by Substitution

I’ve enjoyed Chuck’s and Bob’s posts on design and recently had cause to think about them while working on a coffee table for an upcoming book on Mid-Century Modern furniture. At the risk of over-simplifying, these posts suggest an axis for approaching furniture design: on the one end, evaluate a class of furniture and...

The Telephone Game – Woodworking Version

All life is an experiment.  The more experiments you make the better. - Ralph Waldo Emerson You know what the Telephone Game is, right?  One person starts by whispering a phrase into the next person’s ear and that person whispers what they heard to the next person and this continues down the line.  By the time...

design value pack

One-Stop Shop for Furniture Design

All woodworkers know that improving their bench skills and learning new workshop techniques are necessary parts of becoming a better woodworker. Just as important but often overlooked, however, is developing your design skills. I’m always eager to improve my knowledge of furniture design and further develop my eye. Whether your tastes lean toward ornate...

Brian Boggs Lily Chair

Brian Boggs on Furniture Design

In the November 2012 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, a special 200th anniversary issue celebrating some of the best makers working today, I wrote a piece on chairmaker Brian Boggs. In doing so I spent a day in Brian’s shop and gallery in the Biltmore Village in Asheville, North Carolina, where we talked about...

toweroflondon1_IMG_2664

Furniture Out of Time

One of the topics I touch on briefly in “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” is something I have wanted to write a book about for many years: elemental furniture forms. “Elemental forms” are pieces of furniture that have remained virtually unchanged for centuries. They can look simultaneously modern or ancient depending on the setting that...