The process of making furniture never ceases to amaze me. No matter how long I’m at it or how many pieces I produce, the starting point is always a little different and the end result is always something of a ‘surprise’.
To the uninitiated, the routine seems simple enough: somebody dreams up a design, draws some plans, gets some wood, cuts it into pieces that fit together, slaps a little finish on and bingo! handcrafted furniture. I don’t mean to make fun of most people’s ignorance in this area because how else would they know? The ironic thing is – the whole process is pretty simple. You just need to follow the rules. Learning the rules, first, and then how to manipulate them is the portal for genius, artistry….or plainness and mass produced mediocrity.
Some of the real magic, both in the experience of making and in the production of handcrafted heirlooms, is in the material. No two trees are the same, even if they’re of the same species, and their wood always has some variation, some quirk or ‘figure’ that you may not have seen before. There’s mystery, discovery and then accomplishment as wood that’s sourced for a particular project is cut, milled, shaped or hewn and finally stroked into its final form.
That end result is nothing short of magical; but it’s not just the design as much as it is the wood as it presents the design. In a truly successful piece of furniture, they work together.
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