article index design matters

Seth Gould: Explorer in Metal

Meet this expert metalworker, toolmaker and locksmith. by George Walker pages 22-24 Nothing could be simpler than a hammer. That is until you hold one of Seth Gould’s cross-peen hammers and discover the balance and heft of a tool that instantly becomes a part of your arm. Suddenly you have a...

Artisan Geometry

The universal and timeless structure of our imaginations. by George Walker pages 18-20 Woodworking spans the globe and is a common thread linking humans across the ages. This craft shares a basic tool kit across time and space with more similarities than differences. An artisan from feudal Japan might view a Western backsaw...

Fine-Tuning Furniture Designs

Minor adjustments typically beat a hatchet job.  by George Walker pages 18-20 I knew a guy who didn’t shave or cut his hair for 12 months at a time. On day 365 he looked like the wild man from Borneo. On day 366 (or day 1 of the next cycle), he...

See Like a Designer

Look for the ‘bones’ to observe how form defines design. by George Walker pages 16-18 It happens during almost every furniture design workshop. At the start of day two, a carload of students shows up 20 minutes late. One would think they’d be embarrassed, but instead they burst in all giggly...

Design Matters: Mouldings Got a Start in the Gutter

Woodwork and architecture share some surprising DNA. by George R. Walker pgs. 16-18 I am a country mouse who likes to visit the city. It’s a habit that doesn’t make much sense, because I’ve always preferred walking in the woods to dodging traffic. But when my design quest led me into...

Small Surprises, by Design

New Hampshire designer Jim Zink’s organic pieces are filled with lessons. by George R. Walker pgs. 18-20 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...

Mastery Through Repetition

Practice is the best of all instructors. by George R. Walker pgs. 18-20 Maynard lived next door. When he wasn’t spinning wrenches at the local Ford garage, he was out in his driveway, hunched over a neighbor’s car. As a kid I spent hours leaning over a fender, watching him perform...

Design Matters: If Doors Could Talk

Door construction contains lessons on proportion and visual weight.   by George Walker pgs. 20-22 The directions to Thuya Garden in Northeast Harbor, Maine, were on a scrap of yellow paper held tightly in one hand. I craned my neck out the car window, searching for the hidden lane. My wife, Barb,...

Design Matters: Ideas that Jump Off the Page

Isometric views help keep your designs grounded. by George R. Walker pages 20-22 The kite leapt into the wind and I frantically uncoiled string that burned and chafed my hands and fingers. The thin wooden crossbeams bent almost to the breaking point again and again as the wind buffeted the kite,...