Wow, thanks for all the response on my last post! I love it when woodworkers get passionate and lets face it no one can show passion like a woodworker. I got a lot of great insite from you guys. I also wanted to qualify a few things.
I love to draw!! Thats what sent me to art school in the first place. Life drawing is still one of my faverite pass times. The human body is one of the most intriguing forms to consider in all the world. I have taken drawing and painting classes since I was a kid. I have ofter wondered how a person could go from that to woodworking. I resently figured it out. I was in love with the structure, tone, and movement of the body. I am fasinated by the parts and how they interact with each other. Sounds a little like woodworking doesn’t it. One of the primary design rules is that things look right if they are like the body. This is were we get prisiples like the the “Golden mean” and “The Devine Proportion”. Something only works if it fits or resembles the human form.
I’m not a plan guy (already stated). Design decissions come to me on the fly. When I get an idea the parts fly together in my head (usually faster than I can handle). I’m very visual. Even when I am reproducing something all I use is a very basic drawing and photos. And yes, as one of you pointed out, I’m a pain in the butt to work colaborativly with. I have the idea in my head, those pieces are flying together, and I can’t understand why the other person can’t keep up :-) But I know some of you aren’t photographicly minded and thats cool. Plans or no plans, your project has to feel right. If you are a plan person be mindful if something doesn’t feel write, if it doesn’t flow organicly, change it. If you don’t think it looks comfortable for your body it probably won’t be for anyone else either. That’s what I like about not using plans it frees you to work intuitivly and things are made to flow as you work.
The thing I want to leave you with is that if we are biulding something for the body to use we need to study the body. Weather it’s a chair to sit in or a table to sit at, a gun stock to shoot with or a pen to write with our project should reflect what it was built for, the body. I think there’s a reason wood is still the number one matial to make things for humanity with. It can be so easily formed to work with our form. If you’re really sirious about improving your woodworking you might think about trading your hand tool classes for a few life drawing sessions. Once you understand the form you are building for and that understanding is refected in your work, your work will be set apart plans or no plans.