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learn to design furnitureEarly on in my woodworking career, I fancied myself a designer. I wanted to create new and exciting stuff and managed to have my work accepted in some pretty good arts & crafts shows. My qualifications? I had read “A Cabinetmaker’s Notebook”, had the tools, access to wood and I was willing to experiment. Thirty years later I still have some of those pieces and a few have sidled their way into print in Popular Woodworking Magazine.

That time wasn’t wasted, but both my woodworking and design skills took a great leap forward when I started building reproductions. I blame Gustav Stickley because in one of his books he mentioned that a good designer needed to have a thorough knowledge about everything that was done previously. That struck a chord with me and I followed that advice. The most effective way to learn is from mistakes and the good news is that it is far easier and less painful to learn from the mistakes of others than it is to repeat them for yourself.



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