Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mahogany Display Shelves

Here's a picture of a set of shelves I finished recently. They're made of mahogany and are 200cm x 140cm x 40cm, so they're pretty big, they just about squeezed into the van. I made them for clients who needed somewhere to display some ceramic craft pieces they had collected and that's why they are double the depth of normal shelves. I was lucky to be able to get the mahogany in 40cm wide planks which look better than glued up panels. The shelves are jointed to the posts with sliding dovetails and there is bracing at the back to stop the shelves racking. The posts were made up as box sections to try and cut down on the weight. The unit was finished with Danish oil.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Design Process Step by Step

I thought it might be interesting to show how I bring my projects from concept to reality. Below is a page from my sketchbook.
I find that by sketching quickly and not getting hung up on details I generate more and hopefully better concepts. Sometimes even a mistake or scribble can inspire another concept. These sketches were for the table shown below.

Normally the client doesn't see my sketches, they are usually presented with a maquette or 3D rendering of the piece. The 3D rendering below is for the office suite featured in a previous post. The rendering made it possible for the client to see how the suite of furniture would look in situ.

I use the maquettes to model up pieces that are visually or technically quite complex. As you can see the maquette shown is a fairly quickly made model but it really helps in visualising and fine tuning the design. This design will more than likely not get to the full mock up stage. What will probably happen is that the design for the table will evolve during construction. This can be a little risky, as any problems encountered e.g. in the jointing of the legs will have to be resolved carefully and quickly.
This project will be going ahead in the coming days and weeks and I will be posting images and comments on the production process in part two of the series. The legs are going to be steam bent white oak and the top is chestnut and elm. I'm off now to build a steamer.