Beginning the Design
It starts with your phone call or email to me expressing the initial idea. Perhaps you already know exactly what you need or maybe you only have a vague concept, such as a dining table that seats eight. Next, we refine the concept with a meeting either at your home or my studio. It is better to see the space first-hand, since it helps me to measure the area and experience your tastes with the existing decor. If you would like to come by the studio, you can see some examples and materials. We will be discussing your needs, desires, and the various functions of the piece. Of course, budget is always part of the conversation.
I have an extensive library of furniture picture books that you can peruse for inspiration. Bookmark any elements you like: the shape of a chair leg, the color of a wood, some small detail. This helps us to identify your true tastes and educates you as to what is possible.
Concept sketches are created from the information that we gather. Initial ideas can be hand-drawn during our first meeting. Later, I always create 3-D drawings with a computer application, which is a great tool for helping us to visualize the end result. We may go through several versions of sketches before reaching the final concept. Here is an example of a drawing set submitted in PDF format for approval for the Executive Desk.
For a really complex 3-D object that is difficult to draw on the computer, like a chair, it is helpful to create a small model to complement the drawings. Full-scale drawings and simple mock-ups also help to ensure that what was drawn translates well into full-scale. And sometimes, a full-scale, functioning model is necessary: one was made for the Nursing Rocker to help with the physical fit and comfort.
The finish on each project is unique, so I always create a finish test sample, which is a board with all the various steps of finish applied in stages. This sample allows us to evaluate the color and sheen. I also do an adhesion test to make sure the finish will be durable. My favorite finishes are usually clear and color-free to let the natural beauty of the wood shine through.