I make furniture and cabinets from scratch. So what does that mean exactly? The design process is every bit as ‘custom’ as the building and it’s a phase I’d like to call custom made design.
I don’t start with a tree in log form; rather, the wood I use is either in sheet or plank form, but making is the easier part.
The hard part is 1) envisioning a viable concept and 2) translating that concept into a plan or design. It means asking, and answering, a lot of questions about the intended use of the new object: is it for storage, display, holding something up, concealing something or interaction, like a dining table or a desk? How long, how high, how deep; what are its most prominent features; what style, finish, wood: all these criteria must be covered and resolved at this stage. Even with the assistance of a professional for guidance, there is one aspect of the planning that no one else can help you with: what do you like? Sounds simple enough, and it is; but getting there decisively is not necessarily easy. It might mean doing some research, either on-line or with books or magazines. It may mean talking with others you know who might have had a recent similar experience. If it’s something you’re not used to doing, you will probably have to step out of your comfort zone.
While I don’t want to diminish the physical part because it is hard work and very often quite challenging, most of it is mechanical. Each stage during construction is a kind of building block; one is put upon the first and then the next and the next until the design is finished. As long as each block or stage is carefully shepherded through to the next, building can be mostly predictable and can fall right in line with the plan or vision that set the idea in motion. ( finished cabinet on site)