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Design

Beyond Style: Selling Design in 2021

Whose design is it anyway? For residential wood-products retailers and installers, there may be interest in a study from the Real American Hardwood Promotion Coalition (RAHCP). The RAHCP was formed in 2019 to identify opportunities and…

Arrogance earned

Nakashima, Maloof and Castle In the early ‘70s, there was a show called WoodenWorks at the Renwick Gallery, which is a part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. Now we would describe it as a show of studio furniture, then…

The wood trades

Specialties keeping tradition alive Wood certainly isn’t a sticky material. It’s fairly easy to reduce a large volume of wood into smaller ones, if you understand its propensity to split along its grain. But it is altogether another…

Tool cabinet reborn

A journeyman’s graduation project In 1972, as a very recent design-school graduate, I spent some time as a private student of Jim Krenov. This Russian- born, American- and Swedish- based cabinetmaker had been introduced to me by my…

Ashes to ashes

Invasive pest fells a homely beauty In the early 2000s, the emerald ash borer was first discovered in Canada. It’s a foreign insect that kills ash trees, and it has spread quickly. But who is noticing? There has not been much…

Paint within the lines

Quest for order goes beyond design Paul Epp I was helping a friend paint some window frames and I was surprised at her casual approach. Half of her paint went on the glass and I questioned this. “Why does it matter?”

Canoes

Proud Canadian heritage Paul Epp I grew up on the Grande Prairie in northwestern Alberta, an anomalous patch of grassland deep in the Boreal Forest. It takes only a moment of reflection to understand that it was

Big wood

Counting the rings on legacy timber Paul Epp I was sitting in a bar recently, with my son. We were in Vancouver, at the lower level of a large, late 19th century brick building. As nice as the decorations were, what

Growth rings

Annals of our work, thick and thin One of the many beauties of wood is their growth rings. These variations in the rate of growth, season- to-season and year-to-year, are a large part of what gives wood its visual interest. There are…

Country-style

Design elegance has rural roots It has always surprised me that country-style furniture is often a bit crude. It seems to not only be accepted but also expected that this anti-urban version of things be kind of rough and ready.…

Artisanal

Marketers do home-made one better It has become pretty hard to reflect on marketing without tripping over the word artisanal. We have artisanal beer, artisanal bread and artisanal cheese, to name just a few of the things to which this…

Staying busy

New chapter: RV conversion Now that I’m not teaching, I’ve had to find a project to keep busy with. And what that has turned out to be is a DIY Sprinter cargo-van-to-RV conversion. It’s certainly kept me busy and I’m not done yet. I…

Right to repair

Preventing waste is a responsibility To be a designer is to be very lucky. It’s our job to dream and to turn these dreams into reality. What a privilege. We get to impose our vision onto the world around us. That’s pretty good. Of…