Chinese Chairs and a Coffee Table or what has Furniture to do with Art? (part 3)

July 21, 2008

I wanted to update this series about the Chinese Chairs yesterday evening but it was impossible due to wordpress having problems with a server and uploading photos. Today everything seems to be okay again so here it is – the continuation.

As you can clearly see the second chair is completely different including the whole construction. Different from the first this time the back is not mounted on the seat but is one piece including the chair trim.

chair2a1 chair2b1

The following photos show the detailed carving elements. In pic 12 you can see that seat and legs of the chair were mounted first. The last piece that was assembled was the back of the chair.

All pieces are connected by wooden dowels which have been glued into the wood. There is not a single nail in all these constructions. Additionally all adjacent parts are glued in order to make sure that nothing gets loose.
You could dance on these chairs. They would not serve very well as Hollywood film props.

chair2d1 chair2e1

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chair2f1

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Working with wood on these furniture pieces has given me a lot of joy and I think you can see that. I can only recom- mend each artist should try her/his skills for some time on completely different media.

When I am talking about skills I mean imagination, inspiration, creativity rather than techniques which can be learned easily in art school or workshops, from books even (which I did) and watching other people working with tools and other materials. Skills such as the former cannot be learned – you have them or your don’t.

pic 13

I have often watched people working in their studio or sometimes even at a carpenter’s workshop already as a child. You cannot imagine how much of this you will remember later on when you start doing it yourself.

I can even remember dreaming of this kind of work such as using a mullet and carving knives. So maybe it was already in my blood. Imagination, inspiration, creativity you cannot learn – they are part of your birthday gift – but you could refine them by using completely other materials outside your safety box.

Many artists work on clay or stone besides painting and drawing. I think this is important to train your 3-dimensional thinking. If you start with something simple you can gain self-confidence and self-esteem which is invaluable for your later work and your personality.

Working on these furniture pieces (not only these of course) has given me enough confidence to work on something much more sophisticated later on such as wall art and sculptures. Maybe this example helps someone else to find the motivation to try it on her/his own. Sometimes you just need to find the trigger or the right motivation, a spark. If I have initiated this spark in someone else this would make me very happy…

(will be continued…)

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