Thanks, Dave. I was goofing around on that one but not so in my
initial reply to your question.
Palladio goes into exquisite (some would say, excruciating) detail on
the relationship of the entablature to the base. His discussion is
particularly about columns but your wall is, in fact, a column for the
purposes of the discussion.
What looks good to us is not something that springs, unbidden, from
our innards but is, in fact, a response to a transmitted paradigm,
communicated to us over literally thousands of years of architectural
We are the recipients of a shared historical sensibility in the regard
of architectural elements and their balance. "What seems right", is
not, as some have expressed, a matter of personal whim, but is the
result of an osmotic transference from the great good of public
architecture in the past to our current, I would say weakened, state
as thinkers within a tradition.
It may seem, on the face of it, to be a wasteful exercise, this study
of our architectural antecedents but, I assure you it is not.
Even in that most venal expression of detail, the clamshell molding,
there is a wealth of history, albeit criminally misunderstood.
Proportion is both art and science. Witness the discipline imposed on
Western architectural thought by the concept of the Golden Mean. We
know that it works, as it holds sway throughout our culture, from the
sizing of movie screens to the proportions of the credit cards we
often use to gain access to them.
If Palladio is a point of reference, does that not beg the question of
his own referents?
Certainly to the Romans, but did they not merely ape and modify the
Beyond the Greeks?
Some scholars argue that there must be an organic underpinning to our
architectural lineage. They say that early public architecture mimed
the proportions of certain trees. I wonder.
Shortly after assuming the upright posture, man built shelters. As
his abilities grew, so did his buildings. When he had achieved a
level of society beyond that of the merely familial, he engaged in
public architecture. I would argue that the original concepts of
proportionality are organic, but not based on trees, so much as on
man, himself. Look at the famous drawing of Leonardo DaVinci and the
proportions of his Man. Take those proportions and apply them to
those expressed in the concepts of Palladio, who was really only a
codifier of historical precedent.
I know, you just wanted to know a "rule of thumb" regarding the
relationship of your existing baseboard to your proposed crown
molding. "Rule of Thumb" might turn out to be not such a bad
expression of the problem. Not merely "rule of thumb" but the
relationship between head (capo) and foot (pedestal).
Of course, we all rush headlong through that which does not seem so
involving, to get to that which seems so much to be so but, isn't life
more interesting when "why" is not merely a homonym for the twenty
fifth letter of the alphabet?
Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker
Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania
Having read your every word, I feel entitled to an honorary degree in
...well...SOMETHING! Archie texture? Damn, you've got a way with
words. Everybody else: step away from your keyboards!
So...I should hang the larger crown? :)
Tom Watson wrote:
Tue, Sep 30, 2003, 10:51am (EDT-3) email@example.com
(Patrick Olguin) says:
<snip of a response to BAD>
I just wish to Hell you'd learn to start giving some details in
If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing
- Terry Venables
Life just ain't life without good music. - JOAT
Web Page Update 30 Sep 2003.
Some tunes I like.
what can I say but :) You've definitely got a way with words, and the
patience to put 'em "out there". I'm waiting for a local library to be
built, actually. Every time I drive by it, I think it'll open any day.
But, hey this is San Jose, where everything takes too long to build,
esp the Highway 87 improvements. sigh...when they open I'll take a peek.
I'll tell them you've sent me for a book on proportions. no, not
Biblical proportions; just everyday proportions...
I must have been REALLY cranky by the time I responded to you previous
post! My bad! that's as close as I gonna approach an apology...
Patrick Olguin wrote:
Spent a bit of time in San Jose in the seventies and they had many
libraries (I recall three at least). There was even a huge bridge and
ramps over the freeway that went nowhere (so I thought at the time). You
can find a library in the area if you try. Musing on the seventies, I
wonder if "The Saint James Infirmary" is still in Mt. View or if Bobby
MaGee's is still there out towards Gilroy. Committed major fun and sins
Still tryin' to sin,
yeah, yeah, yeah, and if a tree falls in the forest with no one around,
does it make a sound? Tom, you've should go build some cabinets. or is
your sig line a fraud? You, also cannot resist the temptation to join
the fray, huh? sigh...
Tom Watson wrote:
Wow dave,,,someone shit in your shoes today?
seems to me, all you ever do is post some silly question, then bitch
about 99% of the freaking replies!!!
do us all a favor, cross your legs, pinch your nose shut and fart.
perhaps that way you can clear your mind.
BEFORE I read your sophomoric post here, I'd already thanked Jack. I'm
disappointed in you Keith. I know you are the brightest bulb on the
string, but I didn't think you'd make such a faulty prediction of my
behavior. Maybe we aren't the soul mates you thought we were? BTW, I'm
gonna be pissed if I forget to get my beer out of the freezer...bye!
Unisaw A100 wrote:
speaking of bandwidth; you've taken up your share today with nary a
woodworking-related response. Fire your writers; you've lost your comic
touch. Let's chat again when you hire fresh talent.
Unisaw A100 wrote:
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