It’s easy to get caught in the trap of design by formula. But if art were simply a matter of ratios, a paint-by-number Mona Lisa would be just as good as the one hanging in the Louvre Museum. The curves and lifts that exemplify the work of Charles and Henry Greene are a good example of this.
I made this frame for a class to show how to lay out and shape typical details. The term “typical,” however, doesn’t really apply to Greene & Greene; each house and the furniture within share elements, but subtle differences separate them from one another. Within the style are variations.
First, the Functional Form
A mortise-and-tenon joint makes the connection at each corner, and I made the joints first. Because the rails stand proud of the stiles by 1⁄8″, I did the layout from the back edges to keep these faces flush.