An accurate sketch

I don't like the idea of designing something on a computer that i'm going to be making.  I like pencils.  I've been using them for a good number of years now and feel comfortable using them. The more comfortable you are with your tools, the more they become like a part of your hand and I don't think it is quite time for the world to behold the terrible and awesome spectacle of laptop-hands McCann.. or trackpad-hands McCann.  Just create that image in your mind and hold it there for a moment.  Now, I feel like a truly cumbersome beast when trying to create even the simplest things using a drawing program. So what?

The truth is that while it is not the best way for me to get my ideas out initially, these drawing programs do certain things better than I can do with just a pencil, no matter how hard I practice. Real physical measurements are accurately represented automatically with them and when working with a client to come up with a design, suddenly there a proportionally accurate sketch you can both refer back to.

I just finished a project that is a little bigger and more built-in than I usually work on and I used a sketching program to help the design process along. It was extremely helpful. Small changes could easily be made without effecting the other parts of the design and this allowed me, step by step, to arrive at exactly what the client wanted, very clearly, before anything physical was actually made.  Here are two images  that show the results.  The first is the final drawing done in Sketchup and the second is from Monday's installation of the piece.  Cushions are being upholstered.


Evidence of... something

  One wouldn't know it by looking at this board but this is whats left in the shop of a fairly successful Touching Up Job. What with the pigments strewn across a canvass of coffee grounds and polyester resin it looks.. Shall we say lovely?.. Is it art? Is it just a woodworker sharing his garbage  with the world? You be the judge. 

Stay tuned. There will be worthwhile posts as well.  


A Mess

    Sometimes it just feels good to make one. Christmas is a time for messes in the shop. Most everyone is too busy to think about having things made or fixed and that leaves me with time to do what I do every Holliday season. Make gifts. ...and messes. Today it's a bowl for Ettie, my wife.  


     I know a lot about working with wood. I'll just come out and say it plainly, I mean, I've been doing it a while. As a craftsman, however, the knowledge tends to be fairly unscientific so there are a lot of things that feel right and, not surprisingly, a lot of those things wind up being wrong. The hope is that in time intuition will grow keener and I will err less and less. So, on the things that I will live with (like this bowl for Ettie) I like to take my chances and hopefully learn a little something. If it breaks into pieces then I will apologize and make her a new one. 

The wood is wet.  As it dries it will shrink around the growth rings a lot.  It is anyone's guess as to what shape this circular bowl will ultimately take after the rapid drying process it will undergo in the next few weeks. What can I say?.. I am excited to see what happens. 

image.jpg's been over a month. Happily, there are no cracks. It has been a successful experiment. Make it like you think it ought to be and let the wood do the rest.