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Forum topic by BHolcombe posted 11-05-2012 06:17 PM 1331 views 0 times favorited 51 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BHolcombe

83 posts in 765 days


11-05-2012 06:17 PM

I see a lot of Fans of Stickley and Nakashima on this board, but it makes me wonder if there is any appreciation for some of the other renowned styles that also lean on woodworking. Such as Danish Modern, Mid-Century American, Art Deco (to some degree) or otherwise.

It’s hard to ignore bent plywood in todays world as a woodworking tool, and I very much appreciate the visually light style of Danish Modern especially Jacobsen, Wegner and Finn Juhl.

As I assumed it would be, the value of solid wood is not overlooked on this forum, but I can’t help but appreciate the great use of veneer in mid-century, danish and art deco pieces.

In addition to that I find a Modern French influence in my box making. It seems the French are still ebenisties and producing a superb product. I imagine anyone who also admires Elie Bleu humidors finds that to be true.

What influences your creation?


51 replies so far

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1848 days


#1 posted 11-05-2012 06:22 PM

My tools and ability affect my decisions. My time as well. I would love to do all those things, but building square things is less time consuming than building curved things.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1474 posts in 1051 days


#2 posted 11-05-2012 06:36 PM

Nearly all hobbyists and most “studio” furniture makers can’t handle the construction demands of Danish modern, Deco, and especially Nouveau designs. Stickley, Skaker, G&G, and Nakashima are easy to emulate.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2842 posts in 938 days


#3 posted 11-05-2012 06:41 PM

I appreciate mid century modern, and especially especially appreciate art deco. I don’t appreciate art deco in woodworking as much as I do with tile/metal/stone work. I haven’t been exposed to too much from the danish modern style family, but it is something I will look into.

My greatest influences come from the Arts and Crafts, Craftsman movement, and mission revival. Specifically William Morris, Charles P. Limbert, Gustav Stickley (as mentioned), and of course the Greene brothers of Gamble house fame.

I really relate to this style of furniture. It is not opulent or “overdone” as the Victorian era style that Morris juxtaposed his new style along side of was. To me Arts and Crafts is very industrial. It celebrates complex joinery instead of hiding it. It also has a lot of symmetry and clean lines, which I appreciate. To me, it also celebrates the materials. Rather than relying on intricate carvings, complex curves, etc, the beauty of the wood is put in the forefront.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Swyftfeet's profile

Swyftfeet

169 posts in 861 days


#4 posted 11-05-2012 06:44 PM

I agree with Clint. I have a fairly decent shop and I’m just a hobbyist, I can probably push out some A&C/G&G shaker pieces.

Some of that other stuff is just way beyond my tooling or skill & time.

-- Brian

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6948 posts in 1603 days


#5 posted 11-05-2012 07:02 PM

What Jay says… +10

I am just as ”square (loving)” as Jay is, and love the Arts&Crafts, Shaker, and Stickley type styles. I have several inherited pieces from the Late 19th—Early 20th Century and I am sure that biases my tastes/preferences as well. I am actually attempting to include more plywood in the things I build, but somehow it makes me feel odd about doing so.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Loren's profile

Loren

7737 posts in 2337 days


#6 posted 11-05-2012 07:04 PM

Some of the more modern styles are designer/industrial oriented
by which I mean that the designer asks for things which
are impractical to execute on a one-off basis. Of course
some designers and architects work with clients who have
so much money, they can afford to have complex designs
done in small numbers.

These days on the West coast “modern” is sought after
and a lot of the drawings people send me asking for
fabrication quotes are so square and hard I’d call some
of it Brutalist.

Modern box designs look simple and brand like IKEA bring
modern-looking things to market at affordable prices,
but they don’t hold up because of the use of inferior
materials and RTA assembly. Making quality modern stuff
on a one-off basis is actually pretty tricky because often
you’d get asked to make all these corners where 3 planes
meet… so the work has to be nuts-on and while
there are a lot of ways to do it, many hobbiests don’t
have the patience or machinery to do it really well.
Mouldings and other traditional furniture elements conceal
and compensate for inconsistencies.

I dunno… try to make a perfect Parson’s table with no
insets, overlaps or reveals and you may encounter some
surprises.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1848 days


#7 posted 11-05-2012 07:21 PM

Yeah, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all those things and would love to grow into those areas, which is one of the reasons I’ve started an acoustic guitar. I would love doing bent laminations and various industrial types of designs like Loren mentioned, including metal working.

But right now, form has to follow function for me. I don’t have the time to make art for the sake of art. First and foremost, the commonality to all our favorite shaker and arts & crafts furniture is that we make things functional. Many of the more modern things are functional, but concessions are made in that regard to get the form you desire. Some of the most uncomfortable chairs I have been are like that. Pretty and unique, but not something I’d put in my home for my guests to sit on.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2842 posts in 938 days


#8 posted 11-05-2012 07:51 PM

I am in it for the art and the challenge. I have a house full of perfectly acceptable and moderately priced (NOT Ikea) furniture that somewhat suits our taste, but will slowly replace and give away to relatives just starting out on their own. Through a lot of studying, I’ve found I really like the arts and crafts style. In fact when my wife and I retire to Maine in about 19 years or so, we will be looking for a traditional craftsman style home.

I started with shaker furniture. Not because i like it, because it is easy (easy being a relative term here). I learned the basics of table construction, tapering legs, laminating tops, and mortise and tenon/sliding dovetail apron attachment. figure 8’s etc. After I had 4 of those under my belt that came out ok, I moved on to my first arts and crafts piece. I like it a lot. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than I was hoping for. This table, function took precedent over form in a lot of aspects. I abandoned some ideas and made some compromises simply because I was afraid of the joinery. In my next table, I hope to bring form to the forefront. I got a lot of practice and confidence in this build.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View BHolcombe's profile

BHolcombe

83 posts in 765 days


#9 posted 11-05-2012 07:55 PM

Not all modern are uncomfortable. I collect as much as I build (if not more) and the authentic designs were often very comfortable. My most enjoyable sit is the LC1 designed by LeCorbusier for Cassina. It’s about as functional a piece as one can get. The Eames lounge immediately fallows it.

I would agree with you in respect to some designs, such as the Barcelona chair, but the majority in my experience have been comfortable.

Glad you guys enjoy this, thought I find it interesting that many of you feel limited to squares. I took on curves when I had one client who demanded them and I’ve enjoyed working with them since.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6948 posts in 1603 days


#10 posted 11-05-2012 08:16 PM

BHolcombe: ”...I find it interesting that many of you feel limited to squares…”

Come on now, you really did not have to say such a thing did you? I LIKE the squarish style of Mission, Shaker, etc. I am NOT LIMITED by that style I like, as you so openly interpret my “like” as some form of inability or disability. I could go on, but I’ll let it go for now.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Viktor's profile

Viktor

448 posts in 2108 days


#11 posted 11-05-2012 08:28 PM

While I’ve done my share of square pieces as a compromise for simplicity, I don’t find Mid-century Danish (which I like) hard to produce even with the most basic tools. I’m working on a piece now that has elements such as splayed legs, odd angles and curves, which thought me that basic visualization abilities and few simple jigs can go a long way. Someone who can handle Maloof rocker (that pop up here constantly) can certainly put together Wegner’s chair. Nouveau is a different story, but that’s next.
Now, replicate this: http://www.finefurnituremaker.com/gallery_seating.htm

View BHolcombe's profile

BHolcombe

83 posts in 765 days


#12 posted 11-05-2012 08:31 PM

Mike, I apologize for my wording, I did not intend that to imply that you are incapable. When I say limited, I mean in the design sense, not so much that you are incapable of creating a curve.

I’m interested in the why and how, not very much interested in tossing out insults.

Back on topic, the Maloof rocker, I see these on the regular on here. They are gorgeous and I believe have a shaker root in their original inspiration, but they’re not entirely simple.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6948 posts in 1603 days


#13 posted 11-05-2012 09:47 PM

”... When I say limited, I mean in the design sense…”

Please explain how such designs are “limited in design.”

The only qualification that I see is that if a curve is used in say an Arts&Crafts, Mission, or say Shaker style piece is that that curve would be understated and compliment the overall functional aspect of the piece, as opposed to being gaudy or risque.

The vertical curved back of a mission rocker that is full of vertical slats would be an appropriate use of an apparently un-limiting use of “curves” that you profess so much. Or how about those arched bottom rails of countless Mission/Shaker chests, sideboards, bookcases, etc. Tastefully understated in order to draw you back to the holistic utilitarian purpose, and some would indeed use the word “reverence” of simplicity in many of the Shaker pieces.

Limiting in design… NO. Limited in usage in an appropriate manner, absolutely. BIG difference.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2842 posts in 938 days


#14 posted 11-05-2012 10:02 PM

I would agree with limited in design. I have never even considered taking any inspiration from Art Deco, Danish Modern, or Nouveau. After doing a tiny bit of research today, I think I want to educate myself a bit more. It’s not likely that I will start crafting solely in this style, but I don’t work from plans. The design is half the fun for me. Once I am able to design with aesthetics in mind instead of skill set in mind, it would be nice to incorporate some elements of other styles in my work.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Viktor's profile

Viktor

448 posts in 2108 days


#15 posted 11-05-2012 10:09 PM

“but I don’t work from plans. The design is half the fun for me.”

- Same here. I also often change design as I go.

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