When I first set out on this adventure in box making, I explicitly had it in mind that there would be some boxes that I would make more than once, so that I could explore the design and hopefully improve it with each iteration. Box 40 is one of these boxes. It the same as boxes 1, 2, 7 and 8. There are a few subtle differences, of course. First, box 40 is made from apple. It's one of my favorite woods, and I had a small piece that was just big enough for the sides and bottom of this box. The lid is painted with milk paint, like those other boxes, but it's a different color. This green is my favorite color of milk paint, and it looks great with apple. Third, the interior is finished with a bit of fabric glued to the bottom. Finally, (and this is there true reason I took a fifth stab at this box) I used a new style of pull for this box. It's the same pull I used on the biggest lids on box 35. When I made it for that box, I thought it might look good on other boxes that I've made, so I made a box to test out that theory.
I think this new pull is a big improvement, bringing the box to a higher lever of refinement and one step closer to being a fully resolved design. The previous pull for this box was just a stick. Honestly, it was a stick because I didn't know what else to do. It wasn't until box 35 that I begin to think differently about the pull. That's all creativity reall is. It's simply a matter of answering the question "What can I do differently?" I learned that lesson from Hank Gilpin. He's brilliantly creative, and prior to meeting him I thought creativity was an innate talent. In truth (or at least this is how I understand it now) it's a skill that you can develop. and it's developed one step at a time. But you can't develop this skill if you don't use it. So don't be afraid. I'm not "artistic," I'm just not afraid to try something and screw up. I'm not afraid to take a step and fall. Failure is wonderful, because it gives you a chance to try again, to work harder, to learn, and to become better. (This is also why you should appreciate those folks brave--or rude--enough to tell you when you've mucked it up.) So, the next time you sketch something out, pick one detail and sketch out 20 different takes on it. Repeat this practice again and again. Or just sit and draw as many different pulls as you can, each one slightly different than the next. There will be a lot of failure, but there will also be success. By the way, don't worry if you think you can't draw. You can. Sketch fast and don't think. The more you do it the more it will look like what you see in your mind. Oh my stars, how did this become a pep talk?
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming: Actually, this box might now be fully resolved, but I could always try out some other pull shapes and interior treatments. In fact, the pull might be slightly better if it were a stressed curve. Just a bit of rounding off rather than coming to a peak, and it would be quite nice. This is exciting for me. Sure, this box isn't as sexy as the last two, but it feels great to see a design evolve and get better. I need to do this with other boxes that I've made, but that will have to wait for most of them until after I've completed 52 boxes. I'll be back at new designs with box 41.
OK, let's get random.
I love furniture design, and smart techniques. This blog is about both.