No, it's not Disneyland, it's my lumber supplier. My wife, Sylvia, accompanied me on a recent road trip to Jensen Hardwoods in Walla Walla, WA. Jensen Hardwoods is about 45 minutes away in one of my favorite little towns in Eastern Washington. Walla Walla is the "new" wine country, at least that's what my wife and best friend tell me. I'm partial to good beer.
On this particular trip, we were shopping for a new cradle I was building for my best friend since 6th grade and his wife's new baby. As of this post, the baby should be here any day!!! I can't wait to meet him. Sadly, they are choosing not to name him after me. Go figure!
The name of this project is Gretchin's Cradle, after the beautiful woman for which it was built. To start the design process, I emailed Gretchin about 12 different images of cradles from the internet, to get a feel for what she would like. She settled on this image, a cradle built by Timothy Clark. Once we had that settled, I contacted Tim to make sure he was OK with me using his design as the start for mine. This is a subject that is discussed quite a bit in the woodworking forums and magazines. I believe strongly that original designers should be credited even if they are merely the main source of inspiration for a piece. I do understand however that many designs are unknowingly influenced and in that instance, no harm, no foul. But, if you are aware of specific influences, definitely give credit where it's due.
The following are some shots of the boards early on in the design and build.
One aspect of this design which was quite fun, was that it was a constantly changing design. I think of it as organic designing. You start with an idea of where you think you'd like to go and tweak things along the way. In the coming posts, I'll try to convey that concept in a bit more detail.