This is what my morning consisted of today:
Awhile ago, another designer and I took a concept of a Victorian Eastlake cabinet that was made by a manufacturer for a historic building and re-worked it for our project using some other photos of historic pieces. The design was sent out to bid to a couple furniture makers and Peel Furniture Works, won the bid. They took our drawings and started producing their own “shop drawings” for us to review and confirm we were all on the same page. As I started reviewing them I saw some discrepancies from what we intended in our designs. These must have come from us not communicating design intent properly. Drawings that communicate our design intent better, is something I am always trying to improve on. I also noticed a couple items in the design that weren’t reading “Eastlake” enough.
These were our drawings:
Eastlake design – or what Charles Eastlake called his designs – “Modern Gothic” are very blocky, and celebrate the artisan; which means they are full of carvings and decorative wood work. One of the items that needed work was the side profile. They didn’t typically do a standard stile and rail panel on the sides as we do today. Below is a large sketch showing how the main vertical supports on the ends work as stiles, instead of having a corner support and then the stiles and rails with-in them. (If you are interested in seeing the difference, look at the picture above again and look at the drawing labeled A1 and see how on the left there is a tall vertical support and then there is a second vertical support next to it, which starts the cabinetry door. The image below doesn’t have the second vertical support.)
Another item I “tweaked” was a new design for the recessed door panel. The profile needed to be a bit more decorative. I always try to sketch ideas in full scale – meaning, the actual scale they will be built – over and over again until the proportions seem right for this application.
Door panels on Eastlake cabinetry is also different than what we would do today. These furniture items only had panel profiles on the top and the bottom of the panels…not the sides. You can see this on our first line drawing above.
Lastly, I spent some time searching for hardware options for the cabinetry doors and drawers. This piece below has everything that defines Eastlake artisan work and style.
Once I had all the designs completed, I updated our drawings and sent those and some historic cabinetry photos for reference to the builders. I am looking forward to seeing their shop drawings come back to us again and the building of the pieces to begin!