James Krenov (1920-2009) is a Russian-born furniture maker who has inspired many woodworkers to work simply, intentionally, and consciously with their craft. He is most well known for his "cabinet on a stand" works. He founded the College of the Redwoods Fine Woodworking program in Fort Bragg. Jennifer and I visited there this spring. Krenov wrote eloquently about craft, eschewing competitive methods of some woodworking professionals so as not to compromise his values as a craftsman. He didn't like the word "design," preferring the more inclusive term "composing." Composing suggests a relationship and mindful reaction to the wood as it appears. It is a continual adaptation and "improvisation." The composer should be open to wherever the wood takes him. Krenov's ideas and work inspires me and this cabinet is a respectful reference to his influence. Photo credit: Kevin Shea 1992; from the Inside Passage School of Fine Woodworking web site. http://www.insidepassage.ca/about/.
Here's sort of what I have in mind. This drawing looks a little "stockier" than the measured drawings. I will use some live-edge figured maple panels I've been saving. They will be in the door panels and the back of the top open portion--the "display" area. This cabinet will be square, 74" tall, 21" wide. All the proportions will be factors of 74" in the "Golden Ratio" (1.618.. or "phi")
This how it starts. A trip to the lumber yard with vague notion of what can become of these 8/4 walnut boards.
The cabinet will be tall, about 74". After several days of careful milling to remove some warping, I mark out the positions of mortises. The boards I'm using are not that special--they have some knots to deal with. After some head scratching, I think I can minimize the site lines to these "defects." I do love working with natural material...