Thursday, December 30, 2010

make it and draw it

I have been working sequentially, back and forth, on the cherry cabinet and the sketchup drawing of it, first one and then the other. The making continues to be the easier part. If I were to draw it first, then I would have to be continuously revising the drawing to adjust to real world conditions in the wood shop.  Unlike manufactured wood products, real wood has real characteristics and each board is unique and its qualities must be considered. Despite my best efforts, I also see things better in real life than on paper. How will this crown molding work? Seeing it in my mind's eye and then in real scale, full size, is so much quicker and easier than slaving over the keyboard first. A quick sketch on scrap wood will often suffice as a means of moving my visualizations toward a more concrete form. Attempting to formulate the design as 2 dimensions on paper does not work for me.   And seeing something as a 3-d model on a flat screen is really not that much better.

I usually work from the most basic of sketches. A sketch quickly done presents what I see in my mind's eye better presents the spirit of the piece than detailed drawings. Perhaps if I had become an illustrator first, it would be easier the other way around, but I would likely not see as much of my own work done.

I listened to an interview with a New York Times Technology reporter, Matt Ritchtel  who has written extensively on multi-tasking and what technology is doing to our brains. Least known and most frieghtening is what our technology is doing to brains that have not yet fully formed. The frontal lobes are the slowest to mature, and it will be a while yet before we see the full impact of our experiment putting powerful digital devices in the hands of our kids. We have made the assumption that technology is wonderful and without fault, but we just won't know for some time what we have actually done. One thing I know from my own experience is that multi-tasking is a delusion. Do every thing you do without distraction. I got a phone call from a woodworker, wondering how I manage to do all the things I do. And it all comes down to this. One thing at a time, big fella.

Today in the wood shop, I'll continue working on doors. I'll also take beauty shots of a cabinet for the book.

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