Sometimes a piece of paper or computer won’t do when it comes to fleshing out a design idea. I was revisiting a design sketch from years ago and I was having a tough time getting all the pieces drawn properly. Then I remembered a block of wood that I had in the shop. It is 8″ x 8″ x 16″ and is the basic proportions of the piece I was designing. It is a lot smaller then my intended piece but that is just a matter of scale to make the final design larger.
So I grabbed a piece of chalk and I had an instant three-dimensional chalkboard. The wood had been stained a dark burgundy, as I had used it as a speaker stand when I was in college. The contrast with the chalk worked really well. Of course, you can do the same thing with SketchUp, but it will take a bit longer. And there is a real tactile satisfaction in using your hand to sketch and using your other hand as an eraser.
So because this exercise was so much fun and produced the results I was looking for, I can see building an array of standard forms in miniature size and using them for this purpose. I have a ton of plywood scraps in the shop and with a little blackboard paint, I’ll be good to go.
If you are interested in design, check out George Walker’s “Unlocking the Secrets of Traditional Design” DVD here.