I tried to imagine life without a workspace. I think the nearest anyone can come close to understanding how I feel is to imagine life without their favorite thing to do and magnify it a hundred or so times. Creativity has many dynamic dimensions not the least is the ability to create a creative space for this thing we call work. Now working I talk about is not going to the office or factory to press or push buttons and it’s not that which makes money, although as a biproduct it could. It’s that often indescribable juncture where physical place becomes space occupied and which that stirs us to push into realms of utmost creativity.
Much of my work demands planning and working plans. Most often I’m asked to look at a space to fill with something lovely to look at. I look at what’s surrounding it and how the walls, windows and doors will relate to what I design. This information then distills down the refinements of the design in my mind, determines shape and defines the ultimate outcome. Creative space includes a process I call drift where points of all information stir the senses and reference with one another so that composition of shape and shapes become consequential to compose the whole. This then is the art and craft of work.
I have never copied a design from anyone as far as I consciously know. I have never co-authored a design with another craftsman. I am influenced by other designs and designers. This is one form of inspiration. Drift is inspiration born from surroundings as I described above. Other designs come from seeing and feeling raw, honest material. I see a substance of material like leather or fabric, slate or ceramic. I place a sample alongside a piece of wood, in my mind. I separate them and turn them around, replace them next to each other and a picture begins to form.
I write down my thoughts in my journal and draw a few lines on the pages near by. The pen moves quickly to trace the thoughts in shape and proportion and soon I see with my eyes what my design will be. I look once more at the space. It fits my design. I draw lines and look at heights and lengths. I think in inches first, along with color of wood and grain structure. The design swells on the page in added notes and joint details that constrain me and my design. As the poem constrains a man’s thought and word, so too design constrains the finished work and creative space becomes an occupation once more.