I thought I would post some photos outlining the process I used to design a small stool for children a few months ago.
I started out doing some research into what elements I thought would be interesting to use in my design. Here are some of the images I found that really intrigued me. In particular what caught my attention was the ability to use punches of colour on an otherwise naturally finished piece of furniture to really make it pop. Since I was working on a childrens stool I thought, I must use colour!
From there I started doodling and sketching any idea that came into my head. This is such an important part of the creative process for me because it allows my ideas to flow unedited. Often one idea that I have which isn’t very good can lead to a set of ideas that ends up with my final design. As you can see, the sketches are pretty rough, but its good as it allows me to get them on paper without worrying too much about the logistics.
From here I moved into Rhino and started 3D modeling the stool. This was a useful step for me as it helped my process the idea in three dimensions. If you don’t know how to use CAD software, this next step isn’t 100% necessary, I just found it helpful for myself. It also allowed me to play around with colour combinations.
As you can see, the side view of the stool reveals the negative space shape of a dinosaur, a different one depending on which side you view.
The next step, before heading into the shop was to whip up some quick sketch models. Sometimes things can look great on paper, but don’t always work so well once constructed. Rather than find this out halfway through construction, I tested some things out with these makeshift guys, namely how sturdy the geometry of the stool was.
Finally, after all that, its time for construction! the pieces below aren’t actually parts of the stool themselves, but are router templates. From that basic shape I was able to reproduce the inside shape over and over, much faster than eyeballing it every time on the bandsaw!
From there the rest was pretty straight forward. Follow template, sand, paint, assemble. It was still quite a bit of work doing all that, especially with all the sanding that was required, but while it was time consuming, it was more or less simple.
Here is the finished product!