Putting the "log" back in Blog

Design Inspiration from Local Organic Forms


Posted on February 28th, by Andy Brownell in Design. No Comments

daffodils in Mt. Adams Cincinnati OH in FebruaryCincinnati today was close to 60 degrees. This isn’t entirely unusual for this time of the year, but we have had quite a few days like that all month long. I know, you are probably thinking I just jinxed us entirely for the month of March, but either way you look at it the flowers are starting to bloom. In my mind, Spring is here.

I’ve been stuck in a 90 degree-rut as of late with a number of recent furniture projects that have lots of 90 degree angles. In fact the only deviations of that are the 8-degree slope of a dovetail and a 45 degree chamfer. Pretty sad I know. The Roubo’s massive blocky-build doesn’t help either.

Something rotten beyond reasonable recognition

So with great weather and no lunch meetings scheduled, I figured I’d disconnect from the office and go out looking for some inspiration in the natural world. My office is situated at one of the highest points in Cincinnati, Mt. Adams. Massive church steeples pierce the sky, among the commercial and residential buildings. Great for walks over lunch.

Ordivician Fossilized sea creatures

Ordivician Fossilized sea creatures

At some points you can get a 270-degree view of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky just over the river. One of those areas is a park with a municipal pool, now filled with last year’s dried leaves and some scenic overlooks strewn among some surprisingly large trees for the area. I love taking pictures of trees and the organic forms they create with age. These are

Gnarly, scarred and initial-carved Beech

Gnarly, scarred and initial-carved Beech

some of the shots from today that caught my eye and got me thinking outside of the 90-degree box of my office cube and furniture design.

I think they helped with some of the early sketches here. I’m thinking about a relatively low-profile chair, massive parts with some organic curves and shaping of the seat and back. I’m starting ambitious right out of the gate. Who would have thought inspiration was right in the back yard of my office?





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