The Design Process: A Table, part 2

The dialog with my clients generated an interest in two of the sketched designs I had created, sketch #3 and sketch #4.

Table sketch #3 by Todd Fillingham Table sketch #4 by Todd Fillingham

Sketch #4 was derived from an earlier table I had made and shown in my portfolio. Jackie had wanted to be sure and have the table legs as far out towards the edge of the table top as possible to maximize leg room under the table. Both of these designs accomplish that as part of the design motif.

Since these designs were quick ideas drawn to look for a direction to move in to accomplish a final design I felt that they needed some refining. I discussed this with Jackie and Peter and got their impressions. From those discussions I created two designs, one of each table.

At this point I’ve started looking at the joinery as well as other technical considerations so that I don’t present a design that would be too expensive to accomplish. Here is design #3.

Dining table by Todd Fillingham

I had also modeled the site, the clients kitchen, in my 3D cad program and was able to place the table within that model to give my clients an idea of the scale of the table and how it would look in their space.


Dining table by Todd Fillingham

I did the same process for design #4.


Dining table by Todd Fillingham

I’ll show another view of the rendered model here. I provided Jackie and Peter with several views of each.


Dining table by Todd Fillingham


Dining table by Todd Fillingham


For both designs I also created line drawings with dimensions. Here is the line drawing for table #4. Click to get a larger view. Dining table by Todd Fillingham


Now it was up to Peter and Jackie to decide which of the two they liked the best or whether they would like to think about another approach. Their house had several elements that were of the Prairie/ Arts and Crafts genre. One of the elements of Arts and Crafts style is the use of exposed joinery and table #4 has more explicit exposed joinery. They eventually decided on #4.

After they made their decision I worked out a bid price for them and we signed a Commission Agreement detailing the design, materials, price, completion date and delivery details. I then created shop drawings, selected the lumber and built the table.

Here is a detail of the completed table showing the exposed joinery.

dsc00143.jpg The cherry will darken with age and exposure to light. The kitchen it went into had plenty of light exposure and that is why I rendered the models in dark cherry as the finished table would soon darken.

Jackie and Peter were quite happy with the table. As a matter of fact they wrote this testimonial for me:

Todd Fillingham is the best kept secret of a craftsperson in Milwaukee. He has a beautiful portfolio of lovely, creative and usable furniture. I have known Todd for 25 years but it was only when I heard his name sponsoring an NPR show did I think- “he is the one to design a perfect table for our newly remodeled kitchen.” And I was right. He looked at the site, he listened to my ideas, he did an array of drawings, he made a few alterations after discussions and he used both his sense of design and what I wanted with his skill and computer savvy to do a picture of a table that is exactly what he then produced in beautiful cherry wood. We thought the price was reasonable for this utilitarian piece of art.

Jackie Boynton



One thought on “The Design Process: A Table, part 2

  1. Pingback: The Design Process: A Table, part 1 « Art Furniture Design

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