Monday, May 31, 2010

responding to Heather's question about looking for ideas/information

This is a question that I don't really have a good answer for.

Most of my designs are a result of going into my studio, looking at the woods and other items I have around and playing with the materials. I read a lot of magazines and books, but most of my designs just "appear".
The table in the photo was the result of my looking at a piece of spalted (partially decayed) maple branch that I had in my wood pile. I realized that if I took 2 slices and flipped one of them end to end with the other, I would get an interesting design. The wood dictated the design of the piece to me.
  The more comfortable I get with something, the more I can design with it. With lights for example, I now have much more freedom to experiment because I know how to control their brightness, how to use multiple light sources in a single fixture, and, very important, what won't work. I guess my advice would be to just play with the materials until you get something you like - not much help I must admit.

So where are the comments?

There is a bug in blogger right now that sometimes results in comments not being displayed unless you actually click on the comment count below each posting. I'm trying to get this fixed so I can respond to your comments, but right now it's out of my control. Until that's fixed, I've added a gadget to some the most recent comments at the bottom of the page.

Friday, May 28, 2010

more on the KDF show

One of the items that I displayed that generated a lot of comment (and a sale -YES!) was a screen that could serve to separate areas in a room. The inspiration came from a lacquered screen by Eileen Gray from the deco period. As best I can tell, Eileen Gray is not too well known in North America, but she was influential in the French Deco scene.
Please note that the picture on the Victoria and Albert museum site is shown sideways! The rods run top to bottom, not side to side. I've notified the museum so this may change. I thought that my version provided a bit more flexibility in miniature scenes. It doesn't photograph all that well because it's not shown in any context. It's about 6 inches (15 cm) tall and each of the panels rotates separately. The back of each panel is plain, so you can get a wide variety of effects by rotating elements

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Just back from The London - Kensington Dollhouse Festival

Staggered back tonight from London and I can testify that a 10 hour flight crossing 8 timezones has it's side effects.
The show was interesting, with many dealers that I had not come across before; not to surprising considering I hadn't done a show in the England before. Once again I was one of a very few people doing modern design, and probably the only one that was doing primarily original modern designs. Sales were, unfortunately few and far between which is quite common when doing a show for the first time. Fortunately the main reason for the trip was to have a bit of a vacation which did go well.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

on a hot streak light and sculpture

Once I made the initial table, I had to make new items to display on it, so I made a new table lamp and a "thing of purpose" out of acrylic. I used an LED in the table light; they are pretty much my standard now although they do take a extra hour or so of work to create. It does add a lot of freedom to the way I can design and build the lights, so it's worth it.
Well, managed to get the first version done today. It's a little guy - about 4 inches long and 2 1/4 inches tall. Bloodwood top, Jatoba base Ebony angles on the top's bottom - so to speak

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

getting close to the next show - so it must be time for a change

For some reason (procrastination perhaps...) I tend to do my most creative work when there is the least amount of time available for it. With the Kensington Dollhouse Festival coming next week, I decided it time to try working with a relatively new material - carbon fiber. I have made a light using this stuff and it is quite interesting; very light and very strong for its weight. For example, in the photo of the light the glass cube is 1 inch square, so the carbon rod holding up the light "head" is pretty darn thin.
It is also very rigid for any given diameter, so I'm going make a hall or side table with offset diagonal legs - something like the sketch. The idea is to have the top almost float above the base. The rods will be about 0.030 inches thick.
I'm also thinking of having the diagonals run in opposite directions - forming an "X" but the legs are separated. We'll see...