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Top-notch design. Hank Gilpin is a one of the best furniture designers and makers around.
Furniture makers are confronted with two challenges. Many of us spend most, if not all, of our time trying to master the tools and techniques of the craft. Unfortunately, that means we spend little time tackling the second challenge: mastering the art of designing furniture. And that’s a shame, because all the technical skill in the world won’t save an ugly piece of furniture.
Of course, it’s hard to improve your design skills without help, and that’s where we come in. We’ve arranged to have the work of four readers critiqued by furniture designer and maker Hank Gilpin. Hank’s sense of design is impeccable, and his technical skills are top shelf too. So the guidance you’ll receive will concern both design and construction, and will help you become a more confident and successful furniture maker.
Our plan is to invite two of you to Hank’s shop in Rhode Island so that he can see you piece in person. For the other two readers, we’ll have professional photos taken of your piece and Hank will critique those. We’ll document the entire process in words, photographs, and video, and publish an article in the magazine and a video on the website. The article and video will be similar to the Dovetail Doctor and Sharpening Doctor features.
Here are some guidelines for submitting your work.
I have personal experience with Hank’s critical eye. Back in the Spring, I designed and made a garden bench for our Video Workshop series. As part of that video series, I visited Hank to learn about outdoor furniture design. I also took along a full-size prototype of the bench to get some constructive criticism from Hank. I’m very happy I did, as he showed me a few ways to improve the weather-resistance and comfort of the bench. He also suggested several ways to develop the design more fully. I learned a great deal that day, and I’m already putting what I learned to good use as I design a jewelry cabinet for my wife, at least what I learned about developing the details and motifs of a design. It won’t be an outdoor jewelry cabinet!
We can all get better at design. Your session with Hank will help thousands of other woodworkers just like you. Send your pics and info to: email@example.com
10/14/2009: It’s reasonable to wonder who Hank Gilpin is if you’ve never heard of him. Here is a profile that we did on him a few years back. Also, use our search to find some of his furniture and a few articles. He has been in the gallery and on the back cover numerous times. The quality of his furniture, both in terms of design and construction, speaks for itself. You might not like it, but I think you’d be hard pressed to deny it’s quality.
Design and construction improved. Gilpin took a look at a prototype for this bench, and his suggestions improved its comfort and weather resistance.
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Sorry, I just saw your question. Selection will be made very soon. I don't want to give an exact time frame so as not to disappoint if something unexpected happens.
Any idea when a selection will be made,,,
We're still accepting submisssions. So send them in.
Is there a timeline for this? Have I missed it already?
I am not a writer and I like the way you write, using words for color, spice and to convey and generate enthusiasm. I am a well known architect, in my licensed state at least, for my design skill in my area of expertise. I have served on design competition juries, been interviewed by newspapers, given at least 50 speeches on the topic that I am passionate about. I have influenced the development and refinement of a design theory.
I wish I would have been the first to post a response to your announcement. It is a terrific idea.
One thing about juried competitions – usually even the winners do not get constructive feedback. My work has gotten better over the years because I have been able to thrash it out one to one and three to five with incredibly talented designers in my area of interest.
Best regards, Joe
I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my post.
So, according to you the dictionary isn't a reliable source for the definition of a word?
Now if I understand the rest of your post (which given your understanding of the role of a dictionary, I have my doubts) your explanation of Mr. Gilpin's design talents somehow go from 'impeccable' to 'good' and ends up as 'nice'.
OK well at this point I think what I will do is just pretend I never asked the question in the first place.
Oh and btw if laughing really does cause you to worry well you have my sympathy.
I, of course, chose the word impeccable. I suppose we could argue about whether or not the denotation of the word applies here (I think it does). But I believe the connotation does. In other words, I think that how the word is used by average, but intelligent, people would cover how I've used it. Dictionaries, while helpful, are neither exhaustive nor authoritative.
As for who thinks Hank's sense of design is that good. Well, I do, so do many others here at the magazine, and so too have hundreds, if not thousands, of satisfied customers thought it excellent. But, more importantly, his design abilities have been demonstrated across a broad range of fields, from furniture making, to landscape design, to the design of tunnels and interiors. Regardless of the object, Hank does a nice job.
You might not like his work. So be it. Don't participate.
Finally, I try not to find my humor in others. I'm always worried that while I'm looking at others and laughing, I fail to notice something even more laughable about myself.
Perhaps my previous comment is in need of a little cleanup.
The post was intended to be directed towards the author of the post Mr. Kenny (I return to this post to see if he responded). I found the use of the term 'impeccable' a little pretentious (and a little humorous) and just to drive to point home consider the following:
1 : not capable of sinning or liable to sin
2 : free from fault or blame : flawless
The question was who not what but regardless do you really what to claim that 'makes money at it' = good (impeccable) design?
I certainly wouldn't disagree with your comment but you know what they say when we 'assume'. I am not familiar with 'Launching the Imagination' however I am aware of the importance of the imagination in the creative process. Another interesting book on this subject is 'Conceptual Blockbusting' by James Adams.
most likely - who decided that "Hank’s sense of design is impeccable".... was success at what he does. He makes money at it. more than what a lot of us do. Many of us don't even break even - that's why we just say its a hobby for us. I am way to slow at my projects to "make" money.
My assumption is that Hank is regarded as a good designer because he has studied principles of 2 and 3d design and then implemented these fundamentals into his work. It is one thing to be able to build something and build it well, it is another thing to have a good eye for aesthetics. oftentimes one person does not do both of them well, If you are yearning to learn principles of design (applying to furniture, drawing, illustration, painting, sculpture, architecture, whatever it is universal) pick up a copy of a book called "Launching the Imagination" .
I teach 2d and 3d design at the college level, and this is one of the texts that we use.
I submitted a piece. Let me know what you think
Anyone that has made a business of designing and building unique pieces of turniture is definitely far more of an expert than most of us. I have submitted my most difficult project for critique and welcome any comment. Most preferable the negative comments as tney will provide the type of information I need to become a better furniture maker.
wondering who decided that "Hank’s sense of design is impeccable"....
Tom’s cabinet blunder and other smooth moves. Plus we roll out some new segments: stats and surprise questions. Will they make the cut?
Make something fun while learning new skills
Fast, fun approach to making a comfortable, casual seat
In this video Michael finishes the first of the three boxes. Gluing-up, planing, sanding and finishing bring a new piece of art to the world.
In this video Michael starts work on the second box, a carved and painted Saddle lid box.
Michael begins carving the saddle lid box with his ripple pattern along the top. Then turns to his 5/30 gouge to texture the sides of the box. This isn't work…
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