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Oriental furniture design - advice

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Dave_G

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Hi folks,

I've just been reading the August edition of furniture & cabinet making and on page 37 there is an oriental inspired cabinet design by Martin Grierson - which in my very humble opinion is stunning!! and it has got me thinking I know nothing about oriental furniture design.

Can anyone advise me on any books or even web sites that may have Japanese/oriental inspired designs?

Many thanks,

David[/i]
 

jasonB

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The piece in question is much more "Arts & Crafts" than oriental although A&C furniture does have oriental influences that are expressed in this piece by the overhanging top & the slight taper from bottom to top. It was featured way back in an early issue in an article about proportion and was interesting to see how each part related to the others.

You should be able to get something from your local libruary on Arts & Crafts furniture, Mackintosh items have a similar feel.

For anyone without F&C Mag this is what is being discussed.

Jason
 

Freetochat

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I saw this piece, and thought about adapting the design for an entertainment centre!!
 

Chris Knight

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jasonB":26b4ukgv said:
The piece in question is much more "Arts & Crafts" than oriental
I think it can be both without difficulty. I hadn't realised until I went to the recent A&C exhibition at the V&A, just how ubiquitous the A&C movement was. It emerged in Britain but spread worldwide including places like Japan where A&C influences are to be seen in pottery, clothing and furniture.
 

garywayne

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Hi David.

I came across this site:- www.chinese-furnitures.com

I thought it might be of some interest to you. (It seems a bit slow to load).

If you scroll down in the home page, you will come across categories such as:-

Chinese antique furniture style.
Chinese antique furniture joinery.
And more.

Further down is a list of Catalogue previews with loads of pictures.

I hope this is of some use to you.

ATB Gary.
 

Dave_G

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Thanks everyone :D Gary the site is excellent and has given me a few ideas - now to test my CAD skills!

Cheers, Dave
 

Frank D.

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waterhead37":2mvh9ld1 said:
jasonB":2mvh9ld1 said:
The piece in question is much more "Arts & Crafts" than oriental
I think it can be both without difficulty. I hadn't realised until I went to the recent A&C exhibition at the V&A, just how ubiquitous the A&C movement was. It emerged in Britain but spread worldwide including places like Japan where A&C influences are to be seen in pottery, clothing and furniture.
Hi Chris,
I don't want to sound like a know-it-all here, but wasn't it the exact reverse? As I understand it--and I'm the farthest thing from an expert--The Arts and Crafts movement borrowed heavily from Chinese and Japanese design, starting with the silk paintings and prints. Hence the clean straight lines, simple surves (when there were any) and overall soberness that clearly broke from what came before. I could give more detail--I'd have to look it up--but I thought the Asian influence was pretty much a given. I've seen Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau style furniture made in 16th century China...
 

Chris Knight

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Frank,

I am no expert and you are very probably right - I am only parroting what I understood from the exhibition. I reproduce below what a book I got at the time says about it.

QUOTE
Arts and Crafts was one of the most far-reaching and influential international design movements of modern times It was the first major art movement to focus on the decorative arts, and the first to be directed at the reform of art at every level and across a broad social spectrum, from ordinary worker to aristocratic patron, simple country cottage to city mansion Based on new ideas about work, life and the home, and drawing on the pioneering spirits of reform and enterprise, the Arts and Crafts Movement spread across Britain, Europe, America and Japan, and sometimes even further afield, changing the way we think about design for the home and how we value the way things are made.

The movement, which first emerged in its fullest form in Britain in the I 880s, grew out of an increasing concern about the effects of industrial manufacture on standards of design, and the debilitating impact of industrialization on social conditions and traditional craftsmanship It challenged the traditional hierarchies in the arts, campaigning to raise the status of the craftsman and designer, and aiming to 'turn our artists into craftsmen and our craftsmen into artists' 1 Inspired by the pioneers and founders of the movement in Britain, including William Morris, Walter Crane and CR Ashbee, a set of idealistic principles for living and working were developed through the Arts and Crafts Movement These included the revival of traditional handicrafts and techniques, a return to a simpler way of life, and an improvement in daily existence through the design, manufacture and use of domestic items -or, in the words of one of the pioneers of the movement, finding 'beauty in everyday things' and encouraging the 'making [of] beautiful things for the homes of simple and gentle folk.

It flourished in Britain, America and Europe from the 1880s to c1916, and in Japan from 1926 to 1945. Across this wide geographic spread, the Arts and Crafts Movement was bound by a unity of ideas and a common purpose to establish a new democratic ethic for living and working in the modem world In each country specific social, political, regional and national needs influenced the type of work that was produced Although Arts and Crafts was primarily driven by the ideas and philosophies set out by its leaders, there was, nonetheless, an identifiable set of design characteristics that is associated with the movement and naturally emerged from the principles that underpinned it Reflecting a balance between technique and design and the principle of collaboration between designer and craftsman, who should work together 'hand in hand, and work head with hand.

UNQUOTE
 

Frank D.

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Gee,
I made you work for that one Chris! Thank you very much, I had no idea that the movement spread back into Asia. I think that's very interesting, how an influence cen be transformed and re-exported.
Thanks again!
Frank
 

garywayne

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Hi Dave.

I have just got a copy of the July/Aug Fine woodworking mag. In it there is a review of a book called; Japanese Cabinetry: The Art & Craft of Tansu By David Jackson and Dane Owen.

There is also this web address:- www.gibbs-smith.com
When you enter the site type japanese in the "search by key" box, bottom right corner.

It's the type of book that I would like to have in my library, when I can afford one.

I hope this is of some help Dave.

ATB Gary.
 

74extiger

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Here in Los Angeles where I live several stores are dedicated to Japanese furniture. A few of them sell the brass and iron hardware which are the hallmarks of this style. And also books exploring the design and construction of same.

If any of you consider making pieces, send me an email to extiger@comcast.net
I'll send you the phone and address of these stores so you can purchase supplies.

By the way, most Japanese furniture is extremely lightweight, not meant to last for long. Some feels as if it's made of Balsa wood. There's a reason, but I don't know it.

Gary Curtis
 
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