Designer’s Notebook: Mike Korsak’s En Pointe
Mockup leads to a masterful piece
Synopsis: Having long admired the cabinet-on-stand form but wanting to design his own version, Mike Korsak worked through several versions before he got the design he wanted. From sketchbook to mockup to finished piece, he walks you through the design process for his low chest on stand.
This chest began as a response to seeing a lot of cabinets-on-stand, all very similar and clearly inspired by the work of James Krenov. I admire Krenov’s cabinets, and I was interested in building a cabinet-on-stand, but I wanted to deviate from this familiar form. I was also intent on designing a stand whose legs and base were “just right.” In some of my past pieces, the legs had not quite met that elusive standard. Building them, I learned that a design can look fine on paper but totally different in three dimensions. So this time, to guide the design process, I invested the time in building a leg prototype and a full-size mockup.
My initial idea was for an upright piece with two asymmetrical doors that would open to reveal shelves or drawers inside. At some point it hit me that the overall design of the piece closely resembled the work of other makers—the very opposite of what I had intended. I scrapped it.
Going back to the sketchbook, I roughed out an idea for a wider base, borrowing some of the shapes from the original concept. My new case design began as something more complex with fluted, or undulating, sides and top, and multiple rows of drawers. Through more concept sketching and some rough full-scale drawings, I arrived at a simpler case that seemed to harmonize better with the relatively quiet base. I liked the contrast between the two—a rectilinear case atop a curvaceous base.
Once I had…