Larry Ciesla

greene & greene entertainment console

Design ideas are everywhere, but you have to look at them not as a woodworker who wants to figure out how to build each one, but rather as a palette of shapes and forms that are pleasing to your eye.   When I look for design ideas, I make extensive use of the Internet, particularly Google and Google Images.  If I query google with something like: “ greene and greene entertainment center” it will return numerous sites trying to sell furniture over the Internet.  Most have images I can click on to get a larger image, and when I find something I like, it is very easy to save that image to my computer.  I catalog these images on my Mac using a program called MacJournal.  After a few sessions online, I can easily accumulate 20 or 30 design ideas.  I also try to capture the dimensions from the web site since that could be helpful later if I attempt to design my own piece loosely based on a particular image.

For me, the design process is a personal journey into depths of my mind!  Each new design represents a personal committment that requires that I invest in myself, and test the limits of how well I trust myself.  I wanted this piece to be exceptional - my magnum opus!  I wanted to do a piece that incorporated virtually everything I've learned after over 40 years in the craft.  I'm not completely satisfied with the outcome, but I'm also my own worse critic! 

Follow along with me on my journey to build this piece.  I describe my personal design process with the hope that I might inspire you to try your own hand at designing a piece of your own.  I'll talk about working with veneer, building the carcase, making the ebony accents, installing the knife hinges, and making the stained glass panels.  I've covered the marquetry techniques I use elsewhere in this website so I won't repeat it here except to say that every time I incorporate marquetry into my work, I get just a little better at it, and can't wait for the next project when I can try something just a bit harder.