Small Surprises, by Design
New Hampshire designer Jim Zink’s organic pieces are filled with lessons.
by George R. Walker
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 is not surprising, as an artist has usually honed imagination and skills to bring ideas to life. Others look to our woodworking tradition, building on the best work of our ancestors perfected over many generations. And some are driven by a deep connection with the material itself and listen to what that chunk of curly cherry says to them before lifting a saw to it.
I can relate to all three; design, just like the forest where we harvest our wood, has many layers. But that last drive – the connection with our material – is not easy to describe with words. Wood is an organic thing, each board with its own character and quirks. And there’s more to this than just understanding how to match grain for a pleasing effect.
Furniture maker Jim Zink, who works alone in his corner of New Hampshire, is a maker who I believe has tapped into that deep, hard-to-describe connection with wood.
Website: Check out Jim Zink’s work online.
Blog: Read more from George R. Walker on his Design Matters blog.
In Our Store: George Walker’s DVDs “Unlocking the Secrets of Traditional Design: Moldings” and “Unlocking the Secrets of Traditional Design.”