The Art of Wood #1: Lets Make Some Plans

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Blog entry by Rogue posted 02-27-2009 06:02 PM 1541 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of The Art of Wood series Part 2: Learning »

Wow, thanks for all the response on my last post! I love it when woodworkers get passionate and lets face it no one can show passion like a woodworker. I got a lot of great insite from you guys. I also wanted to qualify a few things.
I love to draw!! Thats what sent me to art school in the first place. Life drawing is still one of my faverite pass times. The human body is one of the most intriguing forms to consider in all the world. I have taken drawing and painting classes since I was a kid. I have ofter wondered how a person could go from that to woodworking. I resently figured it out. I was in love with the structure, tone, and movement of the body. I am fasinated by the parts and how they interact with each other. Sounds a little like woodworking doesn’t it. One of the primary design rules is that things look right if they are like the body. This is were we get prisiples like the the “Golden mean” and “The Devine Proportion”. Something only works if it fits or resembles the human form.
I’m not a plan guy (already stated). Design decissions come to me on the fly. When I get an idea the parts fly together in my head (usually faster than I can handle). I’m very visual. Even when I am reproducing something all I use is a very basic drawing and photos. And yes, as one of you pointed out, I’m a pain in the butt to work colaborativly with. I have the idea in my head, those pieces are flying together, and I can’t understand why the other person can’t keep up :-) But I know some of you aren’t photographicly minded and thats cool. Plans or no plans, your project has to feel right. If you are a plan person be mindful if something doesn’t feel write, if it doesn’t flow organicly, change it. If you don’t think it looks comfortable for your body it probably won’t be for anyone else either. That’s what I like about not using plans it frees you to work intuitivly and things are made to flow as you work.

The thing I want to leave you with is that if we are biulding something for the body to use we need to study the body. Weather it’s a chair to sit in or a table to sit at, a gun stock to shoot with or a pen to write with our project should reflect what it was built for, the body. I think there’s a reason wood is still the number one matial to make things for humanity with. It can be so easily formed to work with our form. If you’re really sirious about improving your woodworking you might think about trading your hand tool classes for a few life drawing sessions. Once you understand the form you are building for and that understanding is refected in your work, your work will be set apart plans or no plans.

-- Rogue

4 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4157 days

#1 posted 02-27-2009 06:31 PM

aaaaarrrgggg… not again…. here we go… ;) lol , just joking.

true words of wisdom spoken (or written in this case).

I love working with wood, because it can conform to every shape your mind can think of in so many ways and it is soft on the body and on the environment. I tend to like natural materials (wood, stone) and am not too fond of man-made-materials (metal, glass) (I shouldn’t say “man-made” more machined-materials perhaps). but thats just me.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4330 days

#2 posted 02-27-2009 06:31 PM

Thanks for the post. I have always admired and appreciated the talent of those to whom artistry has been gifted. As an “artistically challenged” woodworker I appreciate the insight and advice that you shared in this post. And you are right I probably would find it a challenge to collaborate with you on a project. I tend to “muddle” and “plod” along when I am in the middle of a build. I find it difficult to switch gears on the fly without a great deal of pondering, which would probably drive you nuts! :)

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

968 posts in 3902 days

#3 posted 02-27-2009 07:30 PM

I believe a piece of furniture is an object in itself. the object has life independently of us. We perceive them, but they also perceive us. (dynamic) I think any piece, any object transcend to a higher state when leave behind the servitude condition.

Yes I know, A chair is made to offer a place where people can sit on, but is that the only and exclusive reason to exist of that chair???

Why we humans believe we are the center and the ruler to meassure everything around us????

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3950 days

#4 posted 02-28-2009 02:55 AM

Its always interesting to find out where the creative spark comes from in a maker. Its as varied as the makers themselves. Gotta say even as a plan guy I get what you,re saying, maybe i,m just a frustrated artist.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

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