Reanimated Arts And Crafts

Blending elements from various Arts and Crafts designers. Rodel makes fresh pieces with the feel of the originals. Lamp by Raymond Tillman.

ARTS AND CRAFTS REBORN ■ I"

Adapting, not Copying

I find many Arts and Crafts designs inspiring. hut 1 rarely duplicate them. Some of* the chair designs of Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles Rertnic Mackintosh, for example, although acclaimed for their beauty, are rated on ihc opposite end of the comfort scale. Comfort and use are just as important to me as aesthetics. Working the way I do. borrowing here and there. I'm free to adapt a beautiful but uncomfortable or outmoded piece to some new use.

I recently reworked a Mackintosh wash-stand. The original piece had the proportions, details and mt>od of a masterpiece. But not many of us have use for a wash-stand anymore. I was able to keep the overall feel of the original and redesign it as a dining room server sec the photo this page). Since the original was designed to fit snugly into a bedroom alcove, it had very stark sides. I added a carving there in a flower motif that recurs throughout Mackintosh's work. And I replaced a row of cubby holes across the top with a re lie f-carved panel that gave me a place to install lighting.

So while I look to the past. I design for the presenr. I make furniture to fit the needs of my customers. Their requirements include space for computers, lighting and compact disc players. I always try to anticipate the compromises such equipment requires by doing little things like accommodating wiring instead of just ignoring it. It's easy to forget, when working out the wav a piece will look, that it has to serve a persons needs.

Arts and Crafts Tool Kit

You can often recognize Arts and Crafts work by its recti linearity, exposed joinery and stout construction. But there are a number of other elements I use to evoke the mood of the original work.

Broad, overhanging tops are a familiar statement from the Arts and Crafts period. In my tables and case pieces, an overhanging top is often the dominant horizontal line.

The other less dominant lines take their positions and proportions in reference to it.

Overall, I prefer to emphasize horizontal lines over vertical ones while trying to maintain an interesting interplay between the two. If I can pull it off. I like to "trick" vertical lines into making a horizontal statement. I've done this on the front and sides of the writing desk bottom photo p. 20) with a row of leather-paneled squares, and in my side chairs, where alternating slats stop short of the crest rail, forming a row of square holes.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment