Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Layout Changes

Hi All, hope you like the new simplified and less cluttered layout of TNYW. Been thinking of doing this a while as it's something I noticed about some of my favorite blogs that I really liked. I find it much less visually distracting. Here's a quick list of some of the changes:
  • Main blog article is central on the page with no sidebar
  • Only the newest 3 articles appear on the front page, down from 7
  • Blog archive pulldown, link to Instagram, and Like Us on Facebook are at the bottom of the page
Hopefully this will put the focus on the content while helping people navigate to the complimentary content streams of Instagram and Facebook without it being in their face. I hope you like the new layout as much as I do.

All the best, Regis

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dreams and Reality

Great Grandpa's plane-- He didn't need an upgrade
Sometimes it amazes me what I think I want. Many a time I realize that the dream might be the exact opposite of what I want in reality. Other times I realize that what I already have is pretty darn sweet! Take a case in point of my shop space. I've always wanted a separate shop building, natural light, high ceiling, ease of access, good amount of room. All nice things in a shop. Maybe even a wood stove, dare to dream! Anyway I'd say that's a pretty typical shop wish list, and just about the opposite of the shop space I have in my basement right now, except now I don't think I really want it anymore.

Why the change of heart you ask? I've had the opportunity to work in a friends shop, which meets many of my dream requests. It's separate from the house, has nice ceilings, ease of access, etc... It would also not be nearly as convenient for me in my life as it is in my imagination. For instance it's been a cold winter here in Western PA and I've never had to give a second thought to heating my shop, the basement is always well above freezing and if it's a little chilly I can kick on my gas heater. I can't imagine having to pre-plan heating up the shop from below freezing temps. I can go down there and work any time, even for just a few minutes if that's all I have.

Also it's in the house so all my tools are right there if I need something for a little job around the house I can just go grab it. It's nice. It's actually a pretty convenient shop and it's small size I think has actually helped me become a better woodworker. It's made me challenge my assumptions of what's necessary and come up with creative solutions to get things made.

Don't get me wrong, my shop has its drawbacks, but I guess I'm just realizing those dream items have theirs too.

My little woodworking den, ca. 2012

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Finding Inspiration

Glasgow School of Art
I've been thinking for a while about exploring a form and building several of the same type of item in a variety of styles. Thought it might be an interesting way to do some woodwork and study design and push some boundaries. So I've settled on making a series of benches and have been pouring over styles that interest me and thinking about how to re-interpret that into a bench. I'm not really looking to make a reproduction of any particular piece. So I'm looking and sketching and looking and sketching and trying to distill what attracts me to a particular piece.

As I've been looking through these images I find that I always return to the Arts and Crafts movement as something that really attracts me. I've always been attracted to Stickley Mission and Wright's Prairie Style designs, they were probably a foundation for my interest in making furniture. Lately I've been foraying into other branches of the Arts and Crafts movement, like Charles Rohlfs, where A&C meets Gothic/Medieval, and Charles Rennie Macintosh, where A&C crosses over with Art Nouveau. Even the organic flows of Art Nouveau itself have been attracting my eye.

It will be interesting to see what I am able to actually make of this in the shop, or even on the sketch pad. I've got a scanner hooked up so I'm going to share. I guess my next step will be to settle on a style for the first bench and try to soak up some of it's design vocabulary.

Falling Water