22 Feb. 1975|
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While Darrell acknowledges that the rules of design as valid, he also believes the rules must ultimately be laid aside in favor of intuition. How teamwork between architects and woodworkers solved classic problems in furniture design.
Here’s a recipe for creativity: Mix two gifted architects with two seasoned woodworkers, throw in a bunch of money and shake.
The look of Greene and Greene furniture has captured the imagination of many of today’s furniture makers. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best-known furniture designed by Greene and Greene for lumber baron Robert Blacker in 1908. Many Greene and Greene drawers were center-guided with a track running underneath the middle of the drawer bottom.
Jeff builds beautiful dining tables, chairs, sideboards and beds and bedside tables for you with this same quality in craftsmanship, materials and design as the Greene brothers.
He’ll start designing your custom Greene and Greene-style furniture to create beautiful objects for your home. They’re joined to the top with a tongue and groove joint that isn’t glued and screws that pass through slotted washers.
Jeff Grainger Studio creates custom, hand-made furniture, primarily in the Greene and Greene style. Jeff created reproduction furniture based on the styles of some of Pasadena’s most distinguished historical homes, like the Gamble House, Blacker House and Robinson House.
The class discussion will start with some basic rules of design and a slide show illustrating examples of basic proportioning and balance. That’s exactly what happened in California just before World War I, when architects Charles and Henry Greene worked with cabinetmakers John and Peter Hall building houses and furnishings for wealthy Pasadena clients. The Greenes had taken on ambitious commissions to design houses and furnishings in a completely new style from top to bottom.
Reproduction or custom-designed Arts and Crafts pieces are beautiful objects and Jeff builds them to last generations — making ’em like they used to. His knowledge of how to design and build period pieces in the early (traditional Arts and Crafts) or late (Japanese inspired) Greene and Greene style shows through in the variety of details, such as splines, pegs and breadboard table-top edges. As a team they solved problems of wood movement, weak short grain and efficiencies in production that had plagued woodworkers for generations.
In addition, interviews by scholars with descendants of the immigrants who worked in the Hall’s shop reveal that many of the Greene’s construction ideas actually came from Scandinavia.
The Halls had built a millwork production shop equipped with large line-shaft machinery where the techniques of making multiples efficiently and quickly were well known.
A top should be able to freely expand and contract, but a mortised and glued cleat will restrain it.
The short grain in a continuous arm is particularly weak, so Charles Greene strengthened the joint with ebony splines. The half-blind tongue and rabbet probably was an innovation introduced by the Hall’s Scandinavian-trained furniture makers, according to Professor Cooke.
Charles Greene, who specialized in furniture, set up a workbench for himself in the Hall’s shop. Second, once a batch of center guides is machined and installed, each drawer will run smoothly right off the bat.