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 pieces … Read more
Tag Archives: George Walker
‘Superadded Ornaments’ won’t save a poor design – but can enhance a good one.
by George R. Walker
My 10-year-old son, Josh, tugged at my elbow and said, “Dad, check it out, is that cool or what?”
Parked a few yards away was a minivan encrusted with hundreds – no, make that thousands – of plastic toys glued to every square inch of sheet metal. What looked like grass sprouting from the roof was actually several battalions of green army men, along with tanks, bazookas, Pez dispensers, dinosaurs, guitar picks, Happy Meal toys and, on the hood, Wonder Woman in a pitched battle with Godzilla. I asked myself if this was part of a divorce settlement gone bad, or a desperate cry for help. Whatever the inspiration, it made us smile.
Blog: Read more from George about design on his Design Matters blog.
In our store: George R. Walker’s DVDs: “Unlocking the Secrets of Traditional Design” and “Unlocking the Secrets of Traditional Design: Moldings.” Read more
Try this exercise to unlock imagination.
By George R. Walker
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 there is a difference between laymen and architects (designers) in that the former cannot know what a building will be like unless he has seen it completed; while the architect knows perfectly well what it will be like … from the instant he conceives it in his mind, and before he begins it.”
What’s more important: Strength or Aesthetics?
By George R. Walker
From the April 2011 issue #189
Buy this issue now
One of the high points of the October 2010 Woodworking in America conference was the dueling dovetail session between Roy Underhill and Frank Klausz. The two squared off with saw and chisel in hand tackling the “pins first vs. tails first” debate. Friendly banter peppered the dialogue as these two masters cut dovetails with an ease and deliberateness that spoke volumes. Both represented a woodworking tradition, with Frank “Pins First” Klausz demonstrating skills learned in an Eastern European woodshop, while Roy “Tails First” Underhill shared his wisdom of historical American craft. But one part of the discussion in particular caught my attention.
Blog: For more Design Matters, and for a new online feature, “Apprentice Sketchbook,” that ties into every issue of the magazine and this column, visit George R. Walker’s blog.
In Our Store: George Walker’s DVDs: “Unlocking the Secrets of Traditional Design DVD ; Unlocking the Secrets of Traditional Design: Moldings DVD.
Two sets of dividers are all you need to achieve well-proportioned drawers. By George Walker Pages: 60-63 From the June 2009 issue #176 Buy this issue now For centuries artists honed their craft by copying the works of the masters. The goal was not to become a copyist; instead the intense focus of exploring a … Read more
Awaken your inner design sense with just a little practice. By George R. Walker Pages: 20-22 From the February 2010 issue #181 Buy this issue now 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 … Read more
Train your eye to see the layers in a great design. By George R. Walker Pages: 20-21 From the April 2010 issue #182 Buy this issue now Early 20th-century filmmakers used timelapse photography to dazzle audiences with never-before-seen images of flowers emerging and bursting into bloom. Critics with Victorian sensibilities objected that something so intimate … Read more