Thursday, October 22, 2009

Designing a Companion Piece

A few blogs back I described a buffet I built for my second cousin Kathy and her family ("History Repeating"), and how meaningful that work was. Here's that piece:

A year later -- this fall -- she asked if I would build a matching mirror to hang above it "because the wall looks lonely." Designing a companion piece is not an unusual request, since most of my customers have had me build something for them already. I thought this might be a good way to show how a simple piece of furniture goes from concept to completion.

After Kathy's email, I sat with my sketch pad and, unsurprisingly, did some sketching. The only specific Kathy requested was that the mirror be about two feet by three feet, so my drawing focused on translating the buffet's design metaphors to a smaller and basically two dimensional object. Here's an example of one of those early sketches:

I liked the basic concept so I drew a more polished concept and emailed it to Kathy. Here's what she saw:

Kathy liked the design so I sent her a proposal; that lists all the important parts of of project, like price, completion schedule, materials, finish, and construction techniques. After Kathy signed off on the proposal, work began -- and lasted about two days. This is a pretty simple piece. Here it is, hanging on the wall off my showroom, about to be crated and delivered to North Carolina:

The wall above Kathy's buffet shouldn't be quite as lonely now.


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