Book Review: Woodturning Design by Derek Hayes

Like many other turners, design for me used to mean waiting to see what would happen with the piece of wood I had chosen to turn and then convincing myself that I had planned this all along.

My perspective on design started to change after enrolling on a University course on design principles.  Though based around product and packaging design the course encouraged me to start keeping a little book of sketches depicting shape and style that I found interesting.  Over time I started to ‘see’ the little idiosyncrasies of design within a multitude of forms.  Woodturning Design takes you on the same journey, but naturally with an emphasis on what can be done with turned materials.

Woodturning Design starts with a forward, which I quote here, by Mark Baker, currently the editor of Woodturning Magazine.

“Good design is fundamental to all that we make, but it is an area that is often perceived as difficult, esoteric or for the ‘art brigade’, so it is given a cursory glance until we hit a problem with what we are making.  It pays to spend a bit of time thinking about what we are going to make, how it is to look, the implications of its purpose and what impact changes will make to it.  One doesn’t have to a born artist to master some of the fundamental principles explained in this book, so don’t be put off of by the dreaded ‘design’ word.  A few simple steps following the guidelines shown and you will be well on the way to creating masterpieces of your own and having a lot more fun too.”

The book contains 175 pages and is split into 4 parts and 11 chapters:

Part One – Principles

  1. Design Elements
  2. Sketching
  3. Proportion
  4. Pattern

Part Two – Practice

  1. Open Forms
  2. Enclosed Forms
  3. The Foot
  4. The Rim

Part Three – Application

  1. Using Wood
  2. Using Decoration
  3. Using Colour

Part Four – Gallery


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Woodturning Design by Derek Hayes

Woodturning Design by Derek Hayes

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