Inlay Side Tables – Study Series One

These pieces are produced on an ongoing basis. They are an exercise in handcraft. Turned on the lathe in various proportions – sometimes counterweighted with lead concealed in the hollowed base – sometimes not – each piece is made according to the particular proportions I found pleasing in the moment I shaped them – at speeds around 1,100 rpm. Working without dimensional drawings means the hand and eye guide the design process – the forms follow from an immediate, visceral impression.

Creating similar iterations without formalizing dimensions for reproduction is a production model that has been almost entirely abolished – heavy industry has led consumers to expect standardization and uniformity. Craftsmen in the custom industry, on the other hand, tend to produce only in batches or one-offs. There is, then, a certain stubbornness to working in this way, against prevailing practice.

The simplicity of these structures is sometimes contrasted by wood and metal inlays. All inlays are done by chisel, drill, and router – often using chalk lines or patterns made on the scroll saw – no CNC is involved. These pieces were made when I lacked access to a good jointer/planer – and I relied on turned rather than orthogonal members in much of my design work during that period.