Make a Sector from an Old Folding Rule

The Sector

  How do you quickly divide an interior space of 17 5/8 inches into three equal parts?  With a sector.  Furniture builders and architects have reached for the sector often to quickly divide spaces.  Unfortunately, it’s a tool that has been largely forgotten in today’s machine driven world. The sector is nothing more than a … Read more

The Fundamentals of Furniture Design: Finding Inspiration

Nature never fails to provide design inspiration

Design inspiration is all around you, awaiting discovery.  You just have to know where to look.  It often turns up where you least expect it.  You’ll find inspiration in nature.  You’ll find it in the designs of others.  Often, you’ll find inspiration in areas remotely related to furniture making.  Be careful not to design cheap … Read more

The Fundamentals of Furniture Design: Proportion Part 2

Proportion creates harmony

Understanding that the traditional builder focused on proportional design instead of measurement isn’t helpful to the modern designer if we can’t see how he did it.  In this post, we will do just that. Proportion has three primary objectives: to create symmetry, contrast, and punctuation.  Designers create symmetry in the horizontal: right-to-left.   Symmetry’s purpose is … Read more

The Fundamentals of Furniture Design: Proportion Part 1

Proportions begin at 1:1, and proceed to 2:1

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, furniture design and creation were intimately connected.  Furniture makers used whole number proportions to create harmony between their work, nature, and the human form.  Like a symphony, proportion created balance between the micro and the macro.  Unfortunately, the Industrial Revolution shifted priorities.  As machines replaced our hands and eyes, measurements … Read more

The Fundamentals of Furniture Design: The Furniture Design Toolkit

The Furniture Design Toolkit

What you keep in your furniture design toolkit is a personal choice.  I intend to give you tools that can expand your design experience; not tell you which ones to use or how. There are two distinct approaches to design: digital and analog.  You can use either effectively.  You can do as I do, and … Read more

Fundamentals of Furniture Design: What is Good Design?

Good design doesn't have to be complex

Good designs are often beautiful but, design is so much more than that.  A well designed piece of furniture is not only beautiful, it is also functional.  It serves a purpose and serves it well.  The best designs are unique and establish style.  In this post, we will look at the elements of good design … Read more