Along with color, I love drawers. My coffee table will have five that will open from both sides.....thanks Jim Budlong. When someone asks me what I'll put in them, I say nothing. No remote, no keys, no magazines, or whatever one puts into a space that conceals. The drawers will be functional but with their contrasting woods to show off the hand-cut dovetails and the parquetry bottoms, they will become the focal point of the table. So why would I want to clutter up something that takes so much time and thoughtfulness to create?
I went home for Spring Break and ran into a friend at the farmer's market. He said "Hey I was just thinking of you the other day! I have this table that needs a middle leaf and thought you could just whip that out." Yes, I could....and it still makes me chuckle to picture him so excited as he shared this with me. I quickly moved the conversation onto more relevant matters...."give me the low down on your recent break up."
I have these experiences a lot nowadays as I share with others that I'm going to a fine woodworking school. I don't think they hear the word "fine" and so I try to gently educate people on what we do here. Yes, I can "whip" things out but I could always do that before coming here to school. It's actually what I used to do and I have many pieces of furniture in my house to prove it. After nearly 8 months of 48 hr work weeks, spending most of that time on the smallest of details, I finally feel as though I've lost all desire to make something quickly just to get it done. The pleasure really is in the making and my goal is for that to show in my finished piece.
One more: While getting my hair cut and doing the usual chit chat, I mentioned going to a "fine woodworking school". She responded: "Oh, do you make those cut-out bear things?" :-))))))
Works in progress by some very fine woodworking artists: