E N Curtis

Handcrafted Furniture and Art in Wood

A writing (desk) review...

Being back here in Maine and assisting in the workshops has been quite fun. I've gotten to see old teachers and friends, meet new ones, and be back in the cradle of my woodworking creativity. But being around all this woodworking and not partaking has given me the itch, so, naturally, I'm starting a new project. A spec piece of some sorts, but not a large-scale piece. I want to start to push myself in a new aesthetic direction, though I'm not sure what direction that is at the moment. I've been workshopping ideas and starting to bring those design juices to a boil all weekend, but, as Peter Korn reminded over the weekend, I cannot rush the creative process. As I've said, it's difficult for me, and I have many years more experience building than I do designing, so I need to be patient. Again, the mantra of self-patience. Funny how you can tell others something time and time again and often forget to apply it for yourself. Ah well.

Before we look forward and journey through that process together, let's look back at my last piece, a stand up writing desk. From a design perspective, it's nothing groundbreaking. It combines elements of Eastern furniture with Federal influences, and ends up in a good place, I think. The customer was happy, and that was the end goal. From a technical standpoint, which may interest you a bit more, it was loads of fun. It has straight lines, shaped parts, inlays, stringing, and elements of cabinetry. I thoroughly enjoyed building this piece. 

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I think over the next few posts we'll discuss some elements that were employed here and how I do them, which may or may not be the way you do them. I use stringing tools, router planes, and hide glue on a regular basis; the latter two being some of the least employed, most versatile tools a furniture maker has. Now go make something for your father, and call it a late father's day present. Doesn't matter what it is, just make something.