Sunday, November 17, 2013

Polka Dots and Stripes

After all these weeks of working on my cabinet and looking at stripes everywhere, I'm in the mood for something different. I want polka dots.

Specifically, I want to use this piece of Japanese Oak.  It's the first piece of wood I fell in love with when I first entered the wood room.  I saw, I wanted.  And I so want it for my drawer fronts.  But even though it's thick enough to get two pieces out of it, it doesn't follow the rule for continuity.  With two drawers side by side, the visually appealing thing to do is to choose wood so that the grain flows from one to the other.  This piece isn't wide enough and there isn't any more.

Thus, for the past two days, I've been working with Madrone, my fallback choice, thinking I was going to add some polka dotty texture to it.  But today, I couldn't stand looking at it's blah-ness and chucked that idea.  I'm feeling stuck.  I want to break the "continuity rule" so I can use that Japanese Oak....or maybe I really just want to break any rule.

We're finishing up week 13 and I'm finding it more difficult to keep at bay the part of me who always wants what she wants.....mostly, to do things her way no matter the outcome. I keep thinking about what Laura said more than once: that this experience will be like a roller coaster.  I never imagined it meant that I would have to continually struggle with myself, who I am versus who I want to be.

The phrase "I want"?  Some friends will ask: "how's that working for you?"  It isn't....not in the wood world nor in the real world.  So it's time to borrow that "let go" phrase from my last post and let go of everything.

Except maybe those polka dots and stripes.  I will be using that oak in my drawers......the bottom, where there are no rules. 


  1. Why don't you resaw the Japanese oak and just bookmatch the drawer fronts? You'd get the continuity that way.

  2. The continuity I'm referring to is where you can follow a line with a pencil without lifting the pencil from the line. With two drawer fronts, that means the grain pattern would only be broken by the partition. Plus, if the partition is 1/4 width, that's how much I would take out of the piece of wood. It might make better sense once I post a picture of my two drawers. Or you can check out some of the work by previous students at the CR wood web page.
    Btw, I looked at your web site and you do beautiful work. We'll be learning veneers, marquetry, and parquetry next semester.

  3. You are my little rule breaker! Your drawer looks great!!!

  4. Thanks Ginger! I truly am trying to follow all the rules here...but sometimes it's soooo hard. :-)

  5. Rules are great... until they hamper your creative process.

    Sometimes you have to know when to bend a rule a little. And sometimes you have to know when to just chuck it out the window all together. ;)

    My method for knowing what to do is this: Don't force the design. If you're following the rule, and it just doesn't look right (the blah of Madrone...), don't do it. Find a different piece of wood (even if it isn't the Japanese QS oak).

    Likewise, if I have a piece of wood I'm REALLY want to use, and I realize I'm trying to force it into the project, then I have to take a step back and consider what I'm doing.

    In the end, you just have to put faith in your artists' eye. It won't lead you astray. :)

  6. Thanks for your input. I also need to remind myself that I'm in school to learn the rules and knowing they exist and how to use them is really what I came here for.