Monday, April 27, 2009

one more?

When I am having fun at my work, it is hard to show restraint. It is one of the dangers. If children are encouraged to make things, they may never stop.

I have confidence that this new table design will sell, so I am making another. This one has a top similar to the others, spalted fiddleback maple, but its base will be sugar maple instead of the walnut used in the earlier versions.

The joy of creating is one of the things that has enabled me to survive as a craftsman. When there has been an absence of orders, I keep busy anyway, maintaining my positive mental outlook by stimulating the neurohormones that arise in the system from the engagement of the hands. Things don't always sell right away, but things do sell, often bringing income when it is most needed and least expected.

The meandering line cut through the middle of the board provides a space for expansion and contraction to take place without altering the dimensions of the top, and it serves another practical purpose. It allows the wide material to pass through my small planer. In addition, it provides a distinctive appearance that many people have come to associate with my work.

3 comments:

Carl Joseph said...

I do love the curves you put into these slabs. How do you manage to get them looking "natural"?

Doug Stowe said...

They are mostly natural. When I have the wood milled, it is cut "through and through" with the edges left untouched. On this particular wood, significant decay had taken place on the outside of the log before it was milled, so that decay is removed with a rotary chisel, but that work is done in a random, haphazard manner so it appears natural.

The cut down the middle is sketched in pencil, just a squiggled line, then cut. That part of the design work is a matter of practice. Work too hard on it and it loses its spontaneity.

Carl Joseph said...

Thanks for the explanation Doug. I do love the natural curve/split through the middle. Adds a beautiful touch. Looking forward to seeing this piece progress.