Inspiration/design ideas

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Blog entry by schwingding posted 03-12-2008 04:22 PM 1674 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I’m asked about my woodworking, it is typically in the realm of “Where you do you get your ideas?”

My response is “I keep my eyes open, something strikes me, and I try to make something like it out of wood”

In preparation for just such a talk this week to a local woodworking guild, I have put together some work that I can directly correlate to the inspiration for same. My hope is that it might help you get creative, too!

The order will be – first what iinspired the design, then the work. Hope you find it useful!

The yin/yang is a very widely recognizable symbol. While it holds no real significance for me, the design does.

One of my most requested works – slither, came from a child’s toy.

Anyone who has played “Half Life” would recognize a sentry bot.

A seed pod of some sort

And my version…an EYEpod

A sea cucumber

My version

Milkweed seed pot

Scary looking camel spiders in Iraq

A forked tongue

Look at the area where the bowl meets the handle, see the fork?


Graceful ballet dancer


Giant clam

As you can see, I get most of my ideas from the surrounding world. Hope you liked it!

-- Just another woodworker

10 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4493 days

#1 posted 03-12-2008 04:25 PM

I see that your inspiration comes from all around you.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4496 days

#2 posted 03-12-2008 04:30 PM

What a great insight, thanks for sharing.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View stanley2's profile


354 posts in 4300 days

#3 posted 03-12-2008 04:30 PM

Mike – you can come talk to our guild in British Columbia any time – congrats on the Lee Valley cover too!

-- Phil in British Columbia

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 4289 days

#4 posted 03-12-2008 04:35 PM

That’s very cool. I recently heard Kaleo Kala (a fellow LumberJock and quasi-celebrity woodworking blogger) say that he doesn’t look for design inspiration in other furniture, but rather in everything around him. Just like you, I’d say. Very neat.

-- Eric at

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4387 days

#5 posted 03-12-2008 04:36 PM

Mike, you got the eye. Thanks for sharing.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 4556 days

#6 posted 03-12-2008 04:59 PM

Thank you for the glimpse into the creative mind, it is facinating.

-- Hope Never fails

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4327 days

#7 posted 03-12-2008 06:50 PM

Hi Mike,

You have an artist’s eye for the world around us. You can obviously see the hidden beauty that lies inside of a piece of wood whereas I, being artistically challenged, can only view it in terms of board feet. I respect and appreciate your abilities and talents, as well as those others who share your ability to see the “treasures in hiding”.

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

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4832 days

#8 posted 03-12-2008 07:36 PM

great post – thanks for sharing the insight, i love seeing where fellow creatives come from, something I wish we saw more of in our magazines, not just the end result.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View schwingding's profile


133 posts in 4330 days

#9 posted 03-13-2008 07:31 PM

Thank you all! I hope tonight’s audience enjoys it as much as you have.

-- Just another woodworker

View jeanmarc's profile


1899 posts in 4221 days

#10 posted 05-04-2008 05:40 PM

Merci pour ce partage

-- jeanmarc manosque france

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