I am about to begin my new major this fall at RISD: Furniture Design. I was just thinking I would share a few of the pieces I have created. This first bowl was created in my foundation 3d class. I basically took a log from RISD grounds, drilled a bunch of holes into it, and then carved and smoothed the inside. I would say I learned the first and most important thing about furniture from this project and that is; use good materials. The log was rotten so it had holes I needed to patch (these are evidenced on the outside) and a giant crack through the middle. Then I learned a lot about finish. I used red spray paint for the inside and polyurethane on the outside. See how glossy it all is? that was intentional but I have since learned you can be much subtler with finishes.
For me, what was cool about these boxes is that I made them entirely from scratch. I had to design and fabricate hinges, handles, and latches. This box was made to look as if it had been on a farm or something for 30 years by grinding down the paint and blackening the exposed metal. I also learned how to hammer-out a design. By putting the truck on the lid I thought maybe a child's toy box, hmm?
This last box was the "final" design. It has dividers in the inside the exact size of tubes of paint and a larger slot for paintbrushes. Once again I fabricated all the hinges, handle, and latch, and of course the box as well. The focus here was on the finish, I made as clean as possible all of the pieces and really learned how to effectively use spray paint to get an even finish.
This summer I have been interning at a framing shop, E. Gard Fine Framing, here in Portland. In exchange for my help, Eric (shop owner) let me build a piece of furniture using his shop. Once again I had little time (about 3 days) and couldn't really build a table or anything large, since I wanted to be able to bring it to school with me. So, I decided I could use some drawers for my desk at school. We decided we would focus on the finish of the piece, the knowledge Eric has on finishes is astounding; I once spent an entire day triple-coating spacers for frames (paint, sand, paint, sand, paint, steel wool). So we put the piece together relatively fast in order to focus more time on the finish.