52 Designs: A Wendell Castle Stool


It’s work I want to put in: creating a design each week for the next year. Or, thereabouts anyway. I’m fairly certain (100%) that I won’t meet one every week, but that is the average goal. Furniture design is an art and a skill and definitely something the more I practice, the better I’ll become. So, here goes.

A Stool

Wendell Castle Chair

I was visiting the Boston MFA, which is about ginormous, and came across quite a few chairs and benches donated and made by contemporary artisans that are part of the collection – but you can also sit in them! How cool. I was immediately drawn to this Wendell Castle chair and my wife also loved it. We’ve been looking for chairs for the head and foot of our dining room table and both agree something similar to these would be great! So, that is one goal I now have.

I’ve never built anything quite like this yet – and so I’m thinking about tackling a small stool in the style: stacked lamination with smooth curves.

52 Designs: A Wendell Castle Stool

So – this is my very initial draft at an idea. I’m sorry for the plan views, but it’s the easiest way for me to draw. When I design, I end up picturing the 3d model in my head a lot (usually with closed eyes so I don’t have a crazy blank stare for minutes at a time). I’ll try to get better at 3d drawing – in the meantime you’ll have to get better at picturing 3d from plan views.

I already don’t like quite a lot about this one – but that’s OK. It was an initial attempt at something. I’ll go back to the original and digest more what I love about it – and do an iteration or a new attempt at a next design.

Update: I’ve added a 3d sketch.

Wendell Castle Stool - 3d sketch

5 Responses to “52 Designs: A Wendell Castle Stool”
  1. Chris Wong says:

    Good idea – the design-a-week. The trick is not to force out designs, but rather ensure they are inspired. I’m adding your blog to my RSS feed now.

  2. Vic Hubbard says:

    That is an excellent regimen to keep. I haven’t been drawing lately, just because the rest of my life it too hectic at the moment. Once things slow down in October, I know I’ll start sketching again. I’ve found the more I’m sketching the more freely ideas begin to flow. I’ve heard the same about song writing. The writers that write ALL THE TIME, are obviously the most prolific, but I think they tend to create the best material, too.

  3. Torch02 says:

    Welcome to the madness! 😉

    I’ll offer you a few pieces of advice for this exercise:

    – Sketch constantly. I have several of my ideas arise from doodles I made during meetings.
    – Get shead whenever possible. It is a lot easier to have several posts queued up than to try to catch up.
    – Don’t sweat your drawing abilities. When this is over, you’ll be amazed at how much better your drawing will be. But that doesn’t mean those first sketches aren’t valuable.
    – Present what you can. If you can’t get a 3D drawing to work, don’t worry. Several 2D views like you’ve posted here can still get your idea across.
    – This is your exercise. While have us here in the peanit gallery can help both keep you accountable and give suggestions, don’t lose sight of the fact that this exercise is here to improve your design process.

    Looking forward to future work in the weeks to come!

  4. Morton says:

    Chris – yeah, not forcing – but I think that constant practice with whatever’s on the brain is what I’m after.

    Vic – definitely going to take time to pursue – but it’s an area I’m interested in improving. Also of note is I’ve read that the unconscious mind is a great place to make progress, which means letting things stew and settle – so I’ll have to throw that into the mix as well.

    Steve — thanks for the tips!! Definitely helpful. I look forward to having the sketchbook around more often and playing with it.

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