Saturday, August 30, 2014

MFA: The Beginning

This past week marks the beginning of my journey towards an MFA in Furniture Design.  I will admit that as day 1 began, I was incredibly nervous.  What if I didn't have what it takes?  What if my knowledge of the tools was nowhere near up to snuff?  What if I couldn't come up with a good design to save my life?

This year is more of a post baccalaureate year before the true bulk of my graduate classes begins, and I must say that it is a relief.  My first project, "The Wall" is to be a wall hung piece with the use of either doors or drawers.  I struggled to come up with a design for this as I have honestly never thought of designing a wall hung piece.  When I begin to design, my first inclination is towards sculpture, meaning that I have to find a way to make that design work as a piece of furniture.  In some cases, this has meant finding a way to add drawers or doors to a piece that I would not normally put these on, and in other cases it has meant figuring out how this design could be created in the first place.

One thing I will say that's on my side is how I think when designing a three dimensional piece; I am able to think in three dimensions and then sketch my ideas out in a way that makes sense.  My initial sketches may not be to scale, but that isn't the point.  I can figure out my construction problems as they come along and also figure out how they will look when in use.  I don't know if this comes from years of teaching students how to draw three-dimensionally or how to design and then create a sculpture, but it is a skill that has imporoved over the years.

As far as my knowledge of the tools, I find that I still retain a lot of my prior knowledge from being a monitor in my undergrad as well as the knowledge I have amassed working in my family's fabrication business.  Moreover, for those tools that are fairly new to me, we have already had demos that are taking that doubt away.

Overall, I'd say that I am getting more comfortable.  To succeed, I need to immerse myself in a history of furniture design and sketch my brains out.  All else will come with time.