…and winter winters on


This is four days after the last storm I posted about. This is what’s in front of our house. We’ve had several inches since then with more expected today.

Meanwhile I’m completing the the art nouveau style mirror frame. The last ribbon of wood, fret as I call it, is just about finished.


This is how it lies into the back of the mirror frame.


Two other frets, completed and ready to be glued in with the fret patterns.


As I was milling the tenons on my router set up as an end mill, for some reason the site of this graceful arc of wood clamped to this machine inspired me to take out my camera and shoot today’s shop series.


The tenons, or end tabs, are initially milled by this end mill.


I have to finish the joint by hand though. This is because the face being trimmed will have to mate against the inside curved surface of the mirror frame.


After I have the joints completed I shape the cross section into a gentle, flowing curve. I start by carving bevels that are eventually refined into the final curved section.



This flowing bevel or chamfer reminds me of the path a down hill skier might take or even a surfer flowing across the face of a wave. It’s been a very long time since I did any down hill skiing and from the looks of the snow and ice it will be a while before I do any surfing. Winter!

3 thoughts on “…and winter winters on

  1. Thanks Kimian! I really appreciate your comments. I wanted to show how achieving a gentle “natural” flow actually takes quite a bit of planning and work.

    One of my many notes I have tacked around my studio is a quote,

    “Form is a result of a moment in life, it follows fate rather than function.”

    (I’ll have to look up the source later. I find that google doesn’t have this phrase in it’s data base [ha!]) This is true in the sense of drawing, conceiving, conceptualizing, but form must also be thoroughly understood to achieve, as I’m sure you know all to well.

  2. I’ve found the source of the quote and it’s full context. It is from May/ June 1994 issue the magazine ID (Industrial Design) and is a quote from Ettore Sottsass.

    “The exploration of materials and techniques is a recurrent theme in Sottsass’s work… For Sottsass, materials possess an ontological resonance, evoking memories and weaving a historical thread between craft and design. … [his objects] defiantly ignore distinctions between art and design and their formal associations cross chronological and geographical barriers. They are the monuments of the private domain; they radiate a mythical aura in the living room.
    …”In Sottsass’s concept of design, form does not necessarily follow function. ‘Function is too vague an idea,’ he admits. For him, form is the result of a moment in life, a speck in the dust of history. It follows fate rather than function. It is not the mechanical application of design criteria. ‘When Charles Eames designs a chair.’ he wrote in 1954, ‘he designs a way of sitting down. In other words, he designs a function, not for a function.’ He cannot resist poking fun at serious design theory: ‘To me, doing design doesn’t mean giving form to a more or less stupid product for a more or less sophisticated industry,.’ he once wrote somewhat impatiently, ‘Design for me is a way of discussing life, sociality, politics, food and even design.'”

    It is clear that I may have adopted an interpretation of Sottsass’s meaning that may be more my own than his. This happens when one feels free to be creative.

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