Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Nice Curves


I'm pretty excited to share this with you. A dear friend and old school mate of mine from our year studying in Denmark started posting all her gorgeous furniture on facebook. Needless to say I was stopped in my tracks and had to know the story and asked her if she had time to chat about her process. Lucky for me (and you;) she complied. 

Ashley like a lot of us in the architecture profession found herself out of a job with no new job in sight. It's still incredibly rough out there folks. We both discussed the program she went through and the possible option to go back to design school and what was the best route. I think both of us felt that while going back into a design program has it's merits and advantages will it really offer you much more than that architecture degree you already have? And seriously can we all talk about the alternatives out there because let's not beat around the bush design school ain't cheap people. Okay I'll let Ashley take it from here but I had mentioned something about isn't design, design, design... meaning once you have that skill and continue to practice it, it's not something you lose right? Her response...

And yes, design is design. Is design. That is maybe one of the most beneficial things about architecture school. It really does relate and translate to so many other aspects of design and just how we see the world. So no need to pay lots of money to go back to furniture design or art school at this point (although I contemplated it for years). However, I was very glad to have the opportunity to go back to school and learn a skill or "trade" if you will. Its a shame trade schools aren't as popular as they once were. There was some beautiful work that came out of school from people of all different backgrounds. However, I felt having an architectural background gave me a leg up when it came time to design our own furniture to then build it. An understanding of proportions, scale and materials that I learned in architecture school helped give me a base to design from as well as critique and futher understand furniture design.
I finished my AAS in Cabinetmaking and Fine Woodworking in March at the Wood Construction Center. 30 or so students start in the "core" class where we learn mostly tool safety, operation and some maintenance. I think the first 4 weeks were hand tools only. We slowly graduated into the table saw, jointer, planer, etc. The second quarter students moved into their area of concentration. Mine being the cabinetry and fine wood working because it involved furniture. Other students moved on to carpentry and wood boat construction. We made many jigs, several frames, a router table, two cabinets, a rectangular table, round table, a very outdated "telephone" table and then were free to do what ever we wanted, which is where my chair came in. Actually, there were two students in the time I was there that built Sam Maloof's Rocking Chair. I was very impressed (and a bit frightened) to take on the challenge of a chair. Which I soon learned was much more complicated than any table I had made or would probably ever make. The joinery, angles and curves were just one part of the new task I had assigned myself. Then you have to make it look good AND be comfortable.

I thought you all would really enjoy her insights and experience as I know it's always helpful to me to hear alternatives to the expected path. There's more than one way to get there folks. How about you? I'd love to hear from more people who have gotten where they are via the round about way or simply skipping the scholarly route all together. Also, if you are interested in commissioning a piece from Ashley please let me know and I'll put you in touch. Come on, I know you want to. 

UPDATE: Ashley has begun work with Semigood. Congrats Ashley!


amourette said...

really interesting - and gorgeous work!!

Vivi said...

I love it. Good for Ashley. We should have a DIS reunion (a selected few), but nothing passé of course...we could probably all benefit from each others stories, don't you think?

Michelle said...

Wow. Looks like incredible craftsmanship! I love how it recalls a lot of classic mid-century style chairs but is still very original and unique-feeling.

Kelly said...

thanks amourette;)

yes Viv! In København! xo

Me too Michelle, it harkens back but has it's own identity

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