Start to Finish
All projects start with an idea. My aesthetic is inspired by plants, architecture, patterns and asymmetry. Sometimes I’m inspired by learning new techniques that I haven’t tried before. Sometimes I come across antique furniture and take note of it’s modest proportions and delicate simplicity. And there’s nothing quite as inspiring as collections of items that pile up in your home and need to find a place to live in. In my experience, finding inspiration is a process of getting to know yourself and being aware of your surroundings.
Collaboration + Feedback
Whether I’m designing a piece of furniture for a client or for my bedroom, I find that collaboration and feedback is a big part of the design process. What am I collaborating with? Sometimes it’s a person, an idea, a material or specific object. Being open to outside influence is important because it allows you to let go of your assumptions and eagerness and follow where the process wants to take you.
Drawings + Models
I will make small quick sketches in my notebook, just to jot down the essence of an idea. I’ll then go back and try to develop the drawings that really speak to me. Sometimes I’ll make small scaled models to help me visualize the proportions and target any problems. This whole process helps me familiarize myself with the measurements, materials and building techniques needed, before even stepping into the machine room.
I source my wood from a few small lumber yards around New England and I hand select every board to weed out imperfections. I prefer to work with hardwoods that are harvested in North America, as close to home as possible. I try to stay away from supporting the large big box companies and instead source the majority of my materials from specialty woodworking stores, local hardware stores and fine art stores.
From my drawings I will make a cut-list and order-of-operations list which serves as my building roadmap. Keeping in mind grain direction and overall aesthetics, material is milled to proper thickness, ripped to width and cut to length. From there I begin cutting joinery which manifests itself in many ways: sawing, shaping, drilling, routing, chiseling, turning, etc, etc. Components are then glued together and ready for finish.
Finishing is it’s own art form and punishment. Time consuming, difficult to perfect and easy to mess up. I give myself ample time for this process and sample products and techniques before committing to the real deal. The piece is prepped with delicate and thorough sanding, finish is applied in multiple coats by hand, intermittent with more sanding between coats. The final step is to apply a healthy amount of wax and buff to a silky smooth finish.