Building a commissioned piece is one of the most exciting aspects of being a designer/maker.
Early this fall in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, I gave a workshop on making cutting boards (I will blog about it in the future). A few months passed since and I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from one of the participants asking me if I would be interested in building a commissioned piece for him. He told me that he would like to order a present for his girlfriend, a small piece of furniture to fulfill a unique – perhaps even an unusual purpose of elevating a soup-bowl from the table top towards the mouth. In order to make it more comfortable to eat soup and avoid neck-strain my client's GF had been placing her soup bowl on a stack of books. Having a nice little stool to replace the books was a nice and creative idea which was both functional and beautiful. Once I knew how high the stool needed to be I set forth to sketch some ideas. I drew a few options which vary in their levels of complexity, look, and estimated labor involved in building them. While brian-storming some ideas I mentioned that the furniture can include a personal dedication, such as featuring the girlfriend's name or her nickname. As a die-hard romantic myself I was touched by my clients suggestion that he would like to have a carrot and a rabbit included in some manner on the stool, ideally engraved in. Carrot and rabbit are the terms of endearment they use for one another.
Here are the design options:
These were the more simple options. After I finished sketching them I made a fifth sketch with a more complex and intense design that included graceful curves, notched rail and a top that incorporate under-beveled edges.
Next time I will show which option was elected and how I started building the stool.