Saturday, November 08, 2014

Kerr Arts and Cultural Center

Today I will be at the Kerr Arts and Cultural Center for the Texas Furniture Maker's show. I will join two other judges in reviewing the work, and make a presentation on design. Judging work is a difficult and awkward task.

The golden mean detector wand is intended as a bit of a joke, in that it is used to determine whether or not the golden mean was used in the design of a piece. Whenever I've taught furniture design, the subject of the Golden Mean comes up, and I would like for my students to be able to investigate for themselves. You can print this out and make your own.  I use a hollow chisel mortiser to make the cut and if you want to make lots of them for student use, simply stack them, or cut the mortise in thicker stock and rip it into thin strips.

To use it, simply hold it at the right distance so that the edges of the small window align with the edges of the object. If the edges align, you are looking at an object of the proportion prescribed by the golden mean, a ratio of sides 1:1.618...

In my review of hundreds of photos of beautiful and useful furniture, very few are intentionally designed according to the golden mean, leading me to suggest that there are other useful schemes of proportion.

Make, fix and create...

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