Design – sooner or later

 It is, of course, very rewarding to reproduce furniture from a bygone era, especially if you have a set of drawings of the original piece. Here at the Woodwork Academy students have been reproducing the Hepplewhite lamp stand (Fine Woodworking May/June 2000) quite a number of times (I have lost count) and the reasons are fairly obvious.

Andrew with his lamp stand

Firstly, in Western culture we derive substatial satisfaction from reproducing things from previous ages, in particular, music and furniture. Architechture and literature have lost it. Secondly, the piece of furniture being reproduced reflects the design thinking of the period and in the case of Shaker furniture, even the worldview of the designers.

Carolus polishing up his Hepplewhite lamp stand

 But sooner or later the aspiring woodworker will want to (will have to) design his or her own furniture and also for fairly obvious reasons. Firstly, this will be your creation and (without sounding too theatrical) an extention of yourself. Secondly, this is where aesthetics and function meet. Material strength versus ideal. Reality has a nasty way of reducing a gossamer delicate design on paper into a less flattering but functional piece.

Cameron (15) with his own design coat rack

If this is an unexplored area for you then… then… why then sharpen your pencil and start sketching!

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