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design VERSES ART

 As a woodworker having a degree in Art makes everything I make take so much longer because of the thought that goes into each piece.  I never could agree with my professors on what was art and what was design.  According to an Art Professor, art is not found in anything functional, only design is.  I say rubbish, art is found in everything we create, and art is in my functional work.  Woodwork is tangible, you can more then just look at your creation, you can use it.  But what is Art?  Art is the ability to express something within a given work i.e. a feeling/emotion or an idea.  So how does my functional woodwork have art in it?  Every piece of furniture I create has to invoke a mood within the viewer or owner of the piece.  It has to set the stage for the feeling of the room it is within.  Each piece I make also contains many aspects of design.  Design is the foundation to the overall aesthetic of the pieces I build.  Proportions and dimensions are so much more involved, and time consuming to each creation then I ever thought possible.  

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All corners are finger/box joined because they offer the most surface area to glue which in turn creates the strongest joint.  Dovetail joints on the drawers are by no means necessary for the construction of a drawer, they are there just to look good...and they do a good job doing that.  Originally dovetails were created by craftsmen to help hold joints together because the glue used back then didn't last, nor did it work like the glue we have today.

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Sometimes the most beautiful sections of the material have knots or voids that most woodworkers cut away and trash.  I love to incorporate these sections into each piece as the artistic side of the design.

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When the material presents itself in a way that allows for a raw edge to be used in an artistic manner, I'm always ready to make good use of the piece.