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Gina......Appreciate your questions and will briefly respond as I do not want to appear rude. I do not want to get caught up in a debate on thie forum. My intent was to help push an open opportunity that will hopefully help push new furniture design.
Beginning my 31st year this past June as a furniture deisgner and manufacturer you learn to morph and move to what the market offers. The market of the 1980's looks nothing like the 1990's or 2000's. Yeah economic times drive the furniture industry, always has and always will. Furniture feels the lows of the low and only small windows of the high. Right now everybody here is thinking of furniture design as casegoods only; when the US is best right now at manufacturing upholstered goods. So what's the opportunity for somebody on this forum to compliment upholstered goods???
Your questions require thought that doesn't start at the government. The government proved already it doesn't care about the US Furniture Industry.
You can e-mail me and we can discuss this further if you would like.
Also without being flippant and far from disrespectful, please do not referr to me as a "Pro Woodworker" my card doesn't say "Professional Woodworker", I've never introduced myself as being a "Professional Woodworker" and I do not like to respond to its use. It's an internet catch phase.
Custom has never gone away.....its always evolving. A new generation has to be reconnected with it.
Tommy MacDonald is trying to do his part by putting together a Furniture Designer Showcase within the New England Home Show in Late February 2011. If accepted into the showcase there is NO FEE to having the opportunity to connect with the buying public.
The theme of the show is "Re-Connecting the Furniture Maker with the buyer"
The key is that the American Woodworker has to understand its all about new product and meet the challenge of showing work of today not 2 years ago. A Call for Entries is out and can be viewed here: http://woodexpo.us/contest-details/
Check out who is going to be there with more in the works.
All Furniture Maker/Designers are welcome to submitt an entry by January 15th, 2011.
Interest has been high but the real proof will be January 15th and the number fo submissions.
WoodExpo Committee Memeber
a friend of mine turned me on to this slide show this morning..........now that's a good feature. Super presentation emphasizing Rollands experimentation over time. Something all the good ones do.
You can obviously see Rollands architectural exposure as expressed in his slicing technique.
Another good Binzen production.
Sid Works......nice post, but Bandit1156 (about 4 to 5 down)isn't sure and asks why we are where we are???
I could quickly throw out that my generation drank the Krenov cool-aid and decided to go the bohemian route listening to the swoosh of a shaving while starving instead of sticking there nose in the dust and getting dirty while manufacturing like Maloof.
But that's not a fair answer......partially true but too light on substance.
Furniture form has always been created by the "designer of the industry".....lets just take Edward Wormley or Paul Evans, for instance, they were "designers of the industry". Marketing has always been there, manipulators have always been there. The approach has changed. We are in the midst of a furniture period as I type, Arad's show just finished at MOMA, we just don't see it yet and its a hard sell for a magazine. Although maybe if everybody keeps posting and pop up more Hans Wegner ads, maybe some extra coin will allow a chancey future read :^)
It surley is exciting but timing will not fit for most. Oh to be one of these young 16-19 yr old's who I see making nice stuff, the opportunity is there.
Bandit1156 below is touching the edges.
First let me just answer Baudi.....I should have said a product of the Maloof/Krenov era. As for the secret, you are generous classifying me in the 40 year old camp, I'm much older and the secret is that mental and physical hardwork enables a good night sleep.
Also....the comment by PurdueDan is an indication he like many, many others do not know my work on the internet. That's OK.
Getting back to Bandit1156; the stated comment of:
"And why are non-US designers like Sergio Rodriquez almost invisible?"
This is a start that hits the nail on the head but it lands beyond just furniture design, for instance with all our computer use today, why is Ives a British designer head of Apple's design. There are some american designers behind the scenes, but the next Jasper Morrison..... no where to be found, but what are we doing, "re-visting" what Krenov did, and keeping American woodworking as a hobby. Which I have no problem with, it's an indication as a society some of us can creatively use our leisure time working a "craft". Again, I enjoy the internet woodworking community as a result.
There is a new paradigm that the US is behind in, yes the parade is passing by. I have written a rather lengthy essay on this and the reasons why. It would be a conflict to post a link and rehashing would not do justice.
PM me if you are interested to read my first hand and studied thoughts. Barriers of entry have changed.
I realize the question was posed from the use of a CNC machine, but it is just as much about materials used as it is the machine. The idea about the use of technology specifically to furniture is about finding a different form. Viewing an object with a form we have seen before isn't going to be the difference maker. It is the form of the object created through the technology that will sell.
I could reference an extremely valued table made of baltic birch ply, but that would turn off (I'm guessing) 85% of viewers in the forum. Oh no, if MDF if mentioned.
Tony hits on the key issue of the size of the machine and another fella below mentioned the amount of clean-up. Costly right now.
The dilemna to a question like this; is that the indivdiual on this forum, isn't the "buyer"/"market" for forward thinking furniture objects.
The home shop does have its place.
Nobody with the credentials to establish a period in furniture history is going to base it off of the American Woodworking hobbyist.
For reasons unknown, I’m unable to read Mr Korn’s NewsLetter but I am of the Maloof/Krenov generation and with all due respect, nobody is marching ahead because the parade has passed you all by.
For those of you who have made their living through furniture design and manufacturing, changing approaches to technique is the norm. In response to the market, all sorts of materials, finishing techniques, and if at one point you were a hot custom shop, you learned of PETA years before it gained national recognition. I ask you right now, how many of you reading this post will know what I mean by bringing up PETA and furniture making? I’m certain many of you will not make a connection.
My generation turned American woodworking into a hobby. And for those of you, who have been following my thoughts along the internet highway, know of my disgust as I see it now being repeated again. I’ve stated this before, those of my generation who teach studio craft at the University level have gotten lazy, those who seek advertising dollars have revisited the “how to” of the craft again, rather than to push the hobbyist to new heights. Please I understand why, but it muddies the water in the internet woodworking community. Even the reference that Baudi makes about a design blog is a revisit and regurgitation. The blog may spark thought, but it sparks thought to back yonder.
The Craft Movement of Maloof and Carpenter has been defined already and it has been over for quite some time. The Studio Furniture definition has changed, but the learning circulumns have not.
Seeing the opportunity to advance awareness, I posted on my blog and challenged bloggers who were covering a particular event to raise the level of dialog about the craft. The jury is still out. It may be of conflict but here’s the link for those interested:
Few are aware but it is a very exciting time right now in furniture design and manufacturing. We are behind. Unfortunately, the community would rather argue the thickness of a wood shaving, or just copy the work of others. There are many more than just these two that are silly and project immaturity within the craft. My favorite statement is the thoughtless classic, “I wouldn’t have that in my house”.
I believe there is a place for the home and basement shop but before a period of furniture can be defined through the home and basement shop, certain criteria must be presented and acknowledged.
In late February 2010, I am speaking on this topic at the WOODWORKING EXPO presented by Thomas J MacDonald being held within the New England Home Show, if you are in the Boston area stop by.
Of those who disagree with the jurors selection, did you enter a piece to be judged???
These challanges are nothing new to those who have been at the craft for a while, every exhibition you are in has a best of or best new designer award, these challenges are important to the amateur woodworker. Pressing for more is human nature and may lead to better work by others.
Does the criterior used in judging need to be presented in a clearer fashion prior to any new building challenge, absolutely.
Objectively you can critique each entry by discussing and evaluating the design elements and score each. But what you will never know or understand is that each juror and the challenge itself has a very important subjective component.
Nobody knows what the critior of the subjective element in judging was. Maybe a high priority in judging was visual interest, rhythm, craftsmanship, use of materials, color, layering and the subjective element of judges for the challenge was to present an object of the highest skill level to the woodworking community.
I have no problem with that. Many designers are given the best booth space and have won awards only because the organization wants the Designer to return the following year. His or her work is good for the show long term.
Could it be that Fine Woodworking.com wants to show the skill level that hangs around their web site. Don't we all put our best foot forward.
The final point to building for challenges is, you design to the criterior, break a rule or 2 to twist the jury in the hopes of an extra look, and let the chips fall where they may. That's woodworking maturity.
One last thing, when you all vote in the book case challenge, what criterior are you going to use or will it be popularity contest.
Nice work Gregg Novosad
I posted in my blog and could copy and paste here or just provide the link.
My take isapplied and different than any I've seen. The title is "More tha a Rocker"
I'll second the Townsend drop-lid block front........covers everything mentioned by previous posters, relief carving, shell carving, the desk above.
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