Friday, May 23, 2008

My Design Process inspired by: a Wendell Castle Build

This is my entry into the Fine Woodworking Maple Build-off Challenge. Come along for a trip down my design process on this multi-functional piece of furniture.

Gigi calls it: "Morning Coffee and a Crossword" the piece is her crossword puzzle work station. Is the unit a lighting fixture? an end table? a magazine rack?, it's all three.

Learn more of Wendell Castle and investigate the genius of Achille Castiglioni.

And let me know what you think of this Wendell Castle inspired, functional sculpture.


Here's the Popular Woodworking Blog post seeking your work.

Formats available: Quicktime (.mov)


Vic said...

My "broadband" is really slow tonite.
So, I'm letting it load the rest of the way and watching the whole thing in the morning. I'm so psyched that you're doing a podcast on this piece.
Yes-yes, I still would like to see the finale of Carlo's Plum Pudding, but I'm not the least bit disappointed. I can't wait to have coffee and watch your process on this piece.


Claude Stewart said...

Hello Neil, I find this piece very intriguing. I hope you don't mind but as I sit here thinking about your coffee/crossword lamp stand I find myself thinking of the lines of this project and Dr. Seuss pops into my mind. And it's then I realize that anybody who can take those kind of lines and recreate it wood is truly a master. Can't wait for the conclusion of Carlo's Plume Pudding. Claude

Vic said...

OK, Wow! My computer had a hard time with the file(no idea why). But, I finally got to watch the entire episode. As I wrote to David P., I can't wait until I have the experience to produce this kind of quality and innovation. As always the work is well worth the wait. I'm hopeful to start getting shop time in the not to distant future. We've had a lot of bombs dropping lately.
Thanks Neil,

P.S. With my job, I'm used to everything happening when it happens. I like the variety that brings. I'm just happy to get the in depth instruction in design and construction.

Neil....a Furnitologist said...

Hey Claude......absolutely has that Dr. Seuss whimsical thing going on, Gigi feels the same way. Also has that "characature" feel to it much like the album cover of "Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano", by Claude Bollings and Jean-Pierre Rampal.

Cool.........Thanks Claude

neil said...

Vic.......I know how much you love this woodworking stuff and see how open you are to taking all forms of it in. Long term, a very big creative strength by the way.

Its fun for me to see and I'm very appreciative to be a part of your ride.


David Pruett said...

Neil –

As always you never let us down. Awesome episode and well worth the wait! I got home from work and was very excited to see this episode posted on your blog. I couldn’t decide whether to stay up and watch it now or “save” it for morning over a cup of coffee. Then I said “what the heck, stay up and watch it twice . . . once now and again in the morning with a cup of coffee”! There is always something extra to get from watching your episodes more than once . . . much like my experience with your Furnitology 101 DVD.

I really enjoyed how you stepped us thru the design process leading up to your construction decisions and imposed limitations. I admired this piece from the moment you posted photos on The Rough Cut Show forum. It has very nice and comfortable lines. I can just picture Gigi sitting next to this piece curled up in a chair with coffee and a cup of coffee!

I found Claude’s comment very interesting, as one of my first thoughts was the wonderful whimsy of Dr. Seuss. Of course you sent me off on another short research trip with your reference to the album cover of "Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano", by Claude Bollings and Jean-Pierre Rampal. I think this is another aspect of you that is so intriguing . . . always the Renaissance Man!

Thank you for all your time and extra effort sharing with us your skill and passion. You are without a doubt a master and a gifted teacher. Looking forward to the completion of Carlo’s Plum Pudding . . . and whatever else you have in store!


Neil....a Furnitologist said...

David.......always look forward to your comments, always thoughtful. Claude's mention definitely "found the line".

There are 2 reasons why I enjoy and appreciate other pieces like this:

1. I mentioned in the episode and that is the day to day physical/mental needs in attacking a functional sculpture. It exposes you.

2. finding the form..."the line". I didn't get into the actual mechanics of this build, because once you start a build like this, it's long days and very intense focus. BUT fun.....the decision making needed to find the "form" that presents itself is a real dynamic trip.

David a piece like this get pretty intense emotionally, no different then extending yourself say....on a Pedestal. You recall the intensity of your strengths and learn new depth about yourself.

This "PUSHING" in our woodworking vehicle can be humbling, but this drive to extend always ends with better work and more motivation.

I Love woodworking and so glad you do too!!!!


Anonymous said...

Excellent blog on your design
process. It's refreshing to
hear someone speak of furniture
design instead of the usual
how to buld something.
Still waiting for the Mollino

Ronaldo said...

Hey Neil!

The Monalisa with a mustache ringed a bell, but I was not really sure, but I've just remembered so here is a link about it!


Shannon said...

This video was captivating! Thank you for allowing us into your creative process. I have a little notebook just like that and it made me laugh because I don't think I could walk anybody through my random scribbles. I find the design phase to be truly inspiring. There is something about having no limits that gets me excited. I think that is what keeps me in this craft. Great work Neil.

"The Renaissance Woodworker"

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