Tuesday, May 19, 2009

DVD Review: Unlocking The Secrets of Traditional Design with George Walker

While at the Popular Woodworking open house I was buying some Lie-Nielsen tools and the lady ringing me up said that if you spent over $300 you got a free DVD. I already have video's that cover sharpening and using hand planes and I wanted something different. This one seemed to call out to me. Design is something I have always struggled with. I was expecting a lecture on the Golden Ratio, I was wrong.

I have heard that furniture construction was based on architecture principles, but never give it that much thought. I guess we have all heard that a piece is in a "classical style." I thought "classical style" was synonymous with old or antique. This apparently isn't the case. It refers to being in the styles of Greek and Roman architecture.

I have always struggled with how big components in a piece of furniture should be. How tall should the feet be on a dresser? How big of a top molding should I have on this bookshelf? How wide should my face frames be? How big should my drawers be? These questions can be answered by following the classical architectural orders. The orders dictate the proportions of a piece. This was all new to me and if your scratching your head at this point, its new to you also.

This video opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking about furniture design. Mr. Walker does a great job of explaining these, for me, foreign principles. Again and Again, Tom Lie-Nielsen seems to come though with great products. This video is professionally done, not one of those gritty basement workshop videos. I would highly recommend this video to any woodworker. Be sure and pick up your copy here.

David B.

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