So as with many other ventures creating and building a cohesive set of items in my shop is an ongoing process...
It takes time to develop the idea beyond my head or sketchbook and usually I am so busy it’s tough to sit down and have time to spend outside of keeping up with the day to day work load. This is where the magic come into play, many times a customer asks for a new item and this becomes the point I can get paid to work on a new direction or develop an idea I have had running in my head.
Note from a customer for new idea
Actual item made from sketch
I also like to develop ideas in a series of related works that build from a central theme or core idea, the 2 x 2 Series is a prime example. A set of items that stem from a 2” x 2” plate that attaches them to the wall, making a sweet series that is cohesive and related.
A towel hook from new the 2 x 2 series
Towel bar from new 2 x 2 series
Many times ideas come as a piece is being made and the process leads to the next item...
When a demand grew for these box type works I bought the machine to bend steel plate, after having the tools to ease the process I am able to design new items. At first I made these works with single sides cut and welded separately, then one large order made the purchase of a bender (steel brake) easy and now I can bend the box saving hours of hand work welding and grinding.
New bending brake for making boxes
Boxes in process thanks to new machine
New design from a customer
There are times that new ideas do not work out. In your mind a piece can be fantastic and the next great thing to create. When the time comes to make the product it does not work out and has to be abandoned. I have piles of pieces that came from scrapped ideas that just did not work when developed from head to steel. Either the process is too complicated or the scale is wrong or the thing just does not do what you expected and has to be put aside or dumped.
Looking at other people’s products gives me inspiration and fuels a need to always have new directions and fresh ideas coming to life. Pinterest seems to be a never ending source of ideas and stimulation. I never copy an idea I like but use it as a reference and a direction to begin, my style will ultimately redesign and direct the item to match my esthetic and design concepts. As I begin building the piece sometimes the direction changes and new approaches become evident in the process. Scale, attachments, angles, function and are tested when the building is in happening.