Design Ideas? - Found a Book


If you want to get beyond Arts & Crafts / Stickely / Greene & Greene - and are searching for design ideas:
Pays to check the Sales Table at Barnes and Noble. Picked up the coffee table book sized "Furniture World Styles From Classical To Contemporary" by Judith Miller with a foreward by David Linley (ISBN 0-7566-1340-X, $60 US) at 50% off PLUS another 10% of with my B&N card so it was only $24 plus tax, license, dealer prep, undercoating and floor mats - no that's my car - sorry.
Five hundred and sixty pages, over 3,000 full color photos, decorative features and motifs and their significance, profiles of designers, workshops and movements. Every type of furniture you can think of - and some you probably would never think of (do you know what a jardiniere is? How about a teapoy? Would you be able to identify a selette or coiffeuse if you saw one?)
This is a big, heavy book so it doesn't make for going through it in beg - or in "the reading room". This is a sit at a table - with a pad of small Post Its, a pencil and maybe a drawing pad. There are no measured drawings, no joinery details and seldom multiple views of any of the pieces in this book.
But if you're looking for ideas for the base of a dresser or cabinet, legs for a table, ideas for a chair or just some nice lines, this book will be worth the list price. And if you can find it on the Sales Table - $24 bucks is practically stealing the book.
charlie b
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charlie b wrote:

I have a few similar books -- for instance, "Furniture Treasury" by Wallace Nutting, printed in 1963, which I picked up at a library booksale recently for, er, a buck fifty. It doesn't have page numbers, just photo numbers, which go up to 5000. Pretty poor photos in some cases, but they're mostly pretty decent, and even the lousy ones are enough to show the design and some of the details.
It (and the others I have like it) are definitely useful for getting ideas about how to deal with design problems, like the "what do I do with eight inches of space at the top of a china cabinet?" that someone asked a couple of weeks ago.
The book you mention sounds particularly interesting, though, since all the books I have just cover antiques -- and, for that matter, only cover what was considered antique in the 1960s! -- so having some contemporary and early-century styles would be quite useful. And I think I've got a $25 gift card to B&N around here somewhere.... So: thanks for the recommendation!
- Brooks
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Brooks Moses wrote: .

While you're at it, see if they can get the MIT Press Paolo Solari book. In the 'late 60's or early 70's, MIT gave him an aluminum covers sketch book. When it was full they printed it. The book is full of sketches, with notes, of some ideas Solari put on paper - a city built into the face of a dam (cut down on transmission of electricity and water, stays cool in summer, warm, relatively in winter, no need for highways, etc.) a floating city (this place has gotten boring. Let's all go to . . .) All kinds of ideas for jewerly, ceramics or furniture - just change the scale. There are so many sources of inspiration - Playboy for example. Skip the articles and interviews - study the pictures - wonder ful lines everywhere!
charlie b
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Fri, Feb 3, 2006, 12:54am (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@cits1.stanford.edu (BrooksMoses) admits: I have a few similar books -- for instance, "Furniture Treasury" by Wallace Nutting, printed in 1963, which I picked up at a library booksale recently for, er, a buck fifty. <snip>
Yep, I've got books like that too. 'Cept I got mine from a used bookstore. I think the max I've paid for one is around $10, with most well below that.
Amazon has this one, $37.50, and I think $34.50 & up, from sellers. Judging from the cover picture, I might buy one for around $10, but not much more. I find Stickley styles much more appealing - more like furniture people actually use.
JOAT Have a nice day! Someplace else.
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Hey Brooks, It sounds like you have Wallace Nuttings "Furnitutre Treasury" vol 1 and/or 2. The pages aren't numbered, but the furniture pictures are. If you get the chance, pick up vol 3. It goes into more detail about the photos in Vol 1 and 2. Many pictures and descriptions of legs, splats, carvings, etc..in volume 3 . The volumes really complement each other nicely. --dave

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Another good guide, not quite so heavy on pictures is, "The Woodworker's Guide to Furniture Design" by Garth Graves. It touches on many styles, placing them in their historical context. It also directly applies various design fundamentals to furniture design, including ergonomics, fitting within the environment the piece is to be placed, etc.
Krenov's book list had a good one that dealt more with design and creativity, something along the lines of "Fundamentals of Style"

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Dave Jackson wrote:

Actually, what I have is billed as "Two volumes in one", which sounds like it's the first two. I'll definitely keep an eye out for the third; it does sound interesting. Thanks!
- Brooks
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Consider also getting on their e-mail list. I am on Borders e-mail list and very often get printable coupons for 20-25% off on any book that is not on sale.
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"charlie b" wrote in message

Yerright ... at B&N last weekend I picked up "American Oak Furniture" in the "Bargain Book" section. 390+ pages, 1300 photographs of all styles of oak furniture and tons of design ideas. $5.99, list $27.95.
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One of my books I enjoy very much is not primarily about woodworking. It's a Better Homes and Garden book, "Painted crafts".
It does have some pictures of come nice pieces, and some just every-day pieces. No plans. It focuses on the finish of the pieces, and tells how to reproduce many. One is a nicely made little box, but the big thing about it is the faux finish that makes vry plain wood look like very nicely figured wood. And, it shows how you can do similar type finishes.
It's got one or two examples of distressed pieces. My feelings are, if you're gonna make a nice piece, then make it look good. If you want old looking pieces, then buy old stuff.
Then it's got some examples of stuff that looks like it's just old furniture, picked up a a junk store, and painted by first graders. Including some that looks like it was painted by first graders on LSD. It would really disturbe me to be around stuff like that for long. Don't by an "artiste", not an artist. But, sadly, selling for some healthy bucks.
And, finally, it shows some stuff "done" by some guy, who says: "My furniture concepts are very close to the original influences of true folk art: they put a strong emphasis on the beauty and design of ulitarian objects.". Horse crap. One picture shows an old chair, and a scrap wood stool, painted a couple of different colors. Another picture shows a picture of a flip-top chair-table, quite crudely made, of low quality looking wood, and painted with a couple of different colors. Says he buys unfinished furniture from local artists. Unfinished is right. The top is round, but apparently no attempt was made to finish the edges smooth, or even - you see better work on a cable spool - cracks, nicks, gouges, very visible. Top all that off with a couple of colors of what looks like the cheapest paint the guy could find, and it's pretty pathetic - but, "supposedly" it's now "art" - apparently transformed to such, just because this guy slaps a coat or two of cheap paint on it. What's even more pathetic, apparently the stuff is selling, and for a healthy price. Sad. I might do something with work of that quality as a prototype, to see if a procedure would work, or what it would look like made; but then I'd either use it in the shop, salvage the materials, or give it away. I'd be ashamed to offer something like that for sale. But, overall, it's a really nice book, with some really excellent examples of painted designs. Furniture, chests, walls, gameboards. Some really beautiful stuff. And, designs and instructions for a lot of it. I got my copy, in as new condition, at my favorite used bookstore. You might want to see if you can borrow a copy from your local library, to check it out. Or, you might well be able to get a cop on the web somewhere.
JOAT Have a nice day! Someplace else.
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Just ordered it from Amazon looks great thanks charlie
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