Response to brief: Beyond the Book – Dot/Dash.

Response to brief: Beyond the Book – Dot/Dash.

Looking at the new module specifications, my first response would be to go so far beyond the book that I take the book back to its beginning – the tree.

Wood is a very important part of my life, a lot of my furniture is reclaimed – ideally from 1940s- 1960’s then ‘up-cycled’ to fit my own décor and needs. I love to see good craftsmanship and a respect for natural resources and historically, our forefathers really did work magic with wood. Engraving, turning, all by hands, giving hours of sweat and patience to create beautiful wooden furniture from trees. Dovetail joints and natural sealants have all been thrown away in favour of MDF, plastic or machine made products that rarely last five minutes in use but also lack the deep seated impact of a traditional piece.

For me, I have memories of my grandfather, a carpenter by trade, working out in his shed, with jam jars screwed to the roof inside by the lids, holding screws, nails, joints – anything and everything he used to complete his work that needed to be contained, woodworking tools everywhere. I remember him making cots for his grandchildren, beds, blanket boxes, rocking horses – I wish I could see any of his pieces now – alas they have all long gone.

I would like to attempt to use paper and/or books along with a traditionally made, solid wood piece of furniture, so that I may turn a practical everyday item into a thing of beauty, which will have impact, energy and capture the imagination for many years to come, a bespoke piece of furniture that not only serves a purpose but looks great too.

Initially, I will approach a small pine furniture store, local to myself and the college grounds, to see if they would be willing to aid and support me in my venture; perhaps allowing me to work on one of their pieces with no outlay and I am also hopeful, they would be willing to display the finished item in the shop window, allowing me to create the exhibition piece/shop window display.

Incorporating dot/dash into the finished project –  with the thought that a lot of our existence in this day and age is about rushing – ‘racing’ from one ‘spot’ to the next without pausing for thought or thinking much beyond our immediate needs, I would like to draw attention back to the need for things to be less spontaneous and more sustainable – that even something that has a long shelf life, can be kept up to date.

Below are some examples of furniture I have up-cycled to suit my own or others requirements:

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