As I mentioned in the last entry, I found a project that jumped off the page and gave me the inspiration I needed to start the design for my project. I picked up the book Tradition in Contemporary Furniture and started thumbing through the pages…
Here is a shot of the cover for anyone interested.
This is the work that gave my creative juices a jump-start:
Copyright 2001 by The Furniture Society. Artist: Gord Peteran, Toronto, Ontario, 1999. Photo by Elaine Brodie.
It reminded me of a marking gauge and the brass wedge is a nice touch too. I like how the height of the ‘table’ can be adjusted by moving the support down the beam. The round pedestal can also be moved up and down the beam. It appealed to me because of the woodworking tool similarity (how cool is that?) and it was ingenious in its simplicity.
Bolstered by this find, I got busy working on some thumbnail sketches and quickly jumped over to Sketchup. A couple of days of playing around and I came up with this design:
I’ve always been fascinated by cantilever designs and thought maybe I could apply that to this project…
I liked where the experiment was heading. Three simple elements. A cantilevered top. An obvious tie to my inspiration. However, the three elements seemed like they didn’t quite work well enough together. Back to Sketchup.
The beam or stretcher was dropped down in it’s elevation. I wanted it to be more subtle so the angle between the beam and the ground needed to be flattened out. Also, the support was a little too simple. I started playing with some different angles on all the sides. I needed to address the weight of the table top since there was probably no way I could pull off this design if I didn’t get that down. I decided a torsion box top might be the way to go because it would be stable as well as considerably lighter. Here is the second idea I worked up.
All I had to do now was show up to week two and see what the instructor thought. I had my plan for a full length mirror project in my hip pocket just in case I was shot down. After all, this was an aggressive design and I knew it. Why not try? It’s all about the challenges.
-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN