One reason I decided to take up making furniture professionally was that I figured that I would never get bored with it. After 22 years I find that this is still true. I used to always want to be making something different but I find that I do enjoy routine such as making sets of chairs. During the more routine work, I listen to Public Radio, books on tape or even put on a DVD as long as it is high on dialogue and not subtitled. That being said, it is good to be challenged once in a while. A few times a year I get custom orders that keep me thinking. The radio is off and the calculator is out figuring and refiguring dimensions to make sure that everything fits. This latest job is a Hunt Table or Irish Wake Table and will be headed to Ireland when I finish it up. This table has a few challenges. The oval shape, matching the wood across the wide table surface, keeping it flat and true, the rule joint for the large leaves, and designing the double gate-leg hinge mechanism that will support the leaves and close cleanly to the under-structure of the table. I love the graceful shape of the table top. So far that is as far as I have gotten.
The last time I did a rule joint was in 1986, when I first started building furniture with Thomas Kiley who no longer makes furniture but he taught me a great deal over two years back then. For me, the reason why this never gets boring is that there is so much to learn. We learn something one day and squirrel it away and pull it out twenty some years later to use that information on a current project. Now that I think of it, the wooden hinge design that I will use for the gate-legs was inspired by photo copies of furniture joints that I made back in 1985 when I was thinking about making furniture as a profession. Reading the blog entries of other Guild members has opened, and I am sure will continue to open, doors to countless new ideas.
For me, it is comforting to know that I will never have time to make everything with wood that I can imagine. It never gets dull.
To see more of my work, go to www.TimothyClark.com