Could use some design help - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 13 Old 04-11-2017, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Could use some design help

I was contacted by a local charity that's involved in providing relief for Oklahoma musicians (and peripheral folks such as sound techs, etc) who've experienced some sort of financially devastating event — medical expenses, fire, tornado, etc. They'd like me to design and build an Artist of the Year award. We've discussed basic ideas, and they like where I'm headed, but I'm having difficulty finishing it up.

The state cut-out is made from wood from the local farm where Red Dirt music started.




I want to mount it to a base made from local black walnut.







My idea was to glue the 2 blocks together and create a deep, somewhat decorative bowl to be representative of the dust bowl which was not only a huge historical event in state history, but it also gave rise to one of Oklahoma's most well-known musical icons, Woody Guthrie.

I'm just not sure, though. Something about the design just leaves me wanting, so I figured I'd stop before I got too far into it. I know there are loads of incredibly creative and talented folks here, so I figured I'd see what input you might have.

Thanks

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post #2 of 13 Old 04-11-2017, 01:37 PM
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I think your idea will look good. Plus it doubles as a key or candy bowl.
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post #3 of 13 Old 04-12-2017, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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This is what I've come up with.

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post #4 of 13 Old 04-13-2017, 06:50 AM
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I donno about that ....

You have two completely different design elements going there. One is a flat shape the other a cylindrical volume. Both have different textures, rough and smooth. Each has a different color as well. They both occupy about the same space. They kinda don't go together all that well. The other issue is they are fighting each other for prominence or dominance. The usual design order is ... dominant, sub-dominant and tertiary.

If it were me ....
I would use the state shape as a base for the bowl shape, rather than making a "flag" out of it. You maybe able to rotate that shape 90 degrees to make a structural element out of it? You have to decide which shape is more important. Try making another state shape from a more complimentary wood, a little more smooth. Or just use the state's abbreviation letters, OK. This is not an easy thing to do.
If you had more than 2 elements you can place them in different relationships to get a feel for what works best. The bowl may fit nicely over top of the large area on the state shape. It may be to be reduced in size on a base a bit to fit?

I get the relationship you are trying to create here between the dust bowl and the state shape. The real important symbol to me is the musical one, which is missing. I don't know how the Red Dirt band would come into play, but maybe there is something there? Maybe Woody Guthrie can be represented? The theme is "Artist of the Year" so keep that in mind also.

Not that it matters too much, but I worked in the Design Studios at General Motors Design for 30 years and studied Industrial Design at a University for 5 years, and teaching an additional year. We had the most talented designers and artists in the country working together and designing some really great looking cars and trucks.
All this advice is meant with the best intentions.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-13-2017, 09:15 AM
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Good advice and ideas from previous posts. IMO you are trying too hard by adding too many elements to the award, and (maybe) loosing site of the purpose of the meaning - an "Artist of the year award for Oklahoma musicians". Consider looking at other awards, plaques, trophies, etc., which may offer more ideas, shapes, & materials. Will this award be a one time presentation, or will more awards be made for future years? Perhaps adding an old photo of the Red Dirt Band or Woody Guthrie to the Oklahoma state wood cut-out, and an engraved plaque with the recipient name/date would be a better design. Keep us posted as to your progress with this project, and be safe.
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-13-2017, 09:45 AM
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Too many elements?

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodchux View Post
Good advice and ideas from previous posts. IMO you are trying too hard by adding too many elements to the award, and (maybe) loosing site of the purpose of the meaning - an "Artist of the year award for Oklahoma musicians". Consider looking at other awards, plaques, trophies, etc., which may offer more ideas, shapes, & materials. Will this award be a one time presentation, or will more awards be made for future years? Perhaps adding an old photo of the Red Dirt Band or Woody Guthrie to the Oklahoma state wood cut-out, and an engraved plaque with the recipient name/date would be a better design. Keep us posted as to your progress with this project, and be safe.
'
Did you read my post above? He only has 2 elements now, a bowl and a state shape. That's too many? I don't see it.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-13-2017, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
You have two completely different design elements going there. One is a flat shape the other a cylindrical volume. Both have different textures, rough and smooth. Each has a different color as well. They both occupy about the same space. They kinda don't go together all that well. The other issue is they are fighting each other for prominence or dominance. The usual design order is ... dominant, sub-dominant and tertiary.

If it were me ....
I would use the state shape as a base for the bowl shape, rather than making a "flag" out of it. You maybe able to rotate that shape 90 degrees to make a structural element out of it? You have to decide which shape is more important. Try making another state shape from a more complimentary wood, a little more smooth. Or just use the state's abbreviation letters, OK. This is not an easy thing to do.
If you had more than 2 elements you can place them in different relationships to get a feel for what works best. The bowl may fit nicely over top of the large area on the state shape. It may be to be reduced in size on a base a bit to fit?

I get the relationship you are trying to create here between the dust bowl and the state shape. The real important symbol to me is the musical one, which is missing. I don't know how the Red Dirt band would come into play, but maybe there is something there? Maybe Woody Guthrie can be represented? The theme is "Artist of the Year" so keep that in mind also.

Not that it matters too much, but I worked in the Design Studios at General Motors Design for 30 years and studied Industrial Design at a University for 5 years, and teaching an additional year. We had the most talented designers and artists in the country working together and designing some really great looking cars and trucks.
All this advice is meant with the best intentions.
THANK YOU!!

I've just not been happy with the design but forged ahead with it because all the folks I've asked have said it sounded like a cool idea. I was never sold on it, though. I sent pics to the client last night hoping he would say, "It's not quite what we were thinking." I even told him that I needed his honest opinion because I want them to be happy with what I give them. Instead, he said it looks cool. I know he's the client, but he's also not a designer, so he may think it's looks ok because he just can't envision what a properly designed award should look like.

You've nailed exactly what I was seeing, though I couldn't articulate why I didn't like it. I just knew it wasn't working.

I think I'll go back with the idea of a larger trapezoidal base. That should solve a lot of the problems.

Again, Thank you!
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-14-2017, 08:56 AM
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Woodenthings, Yes, I DID read your reply post! Your statement "he only has two completely different design elements, one is flat, the other a cylindrical volume, which also should include your descriptions "rough & smooth textures, and different colors", gives a total of six! This was YOUR call!
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-16-2017, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, this is MUCH better.



Still have all the finish work to do, but at least I've finally nailed the concept I had in mind originally.

Woodnthings, if you see something not quite right, I'm still interested in input.
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-19-2017, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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Got everything glued up, sanded to 400 and the first coat of tung oil on. I used dowels to attach the state to the supports and the supports to the base. It's all really solid.



My client had a really nice silver plate made up for the front. It's going to be pretty sweet.
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post #11 of 13 Old 04-20-2017, 03:18 AM
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That looks great to me!

Simple and powerful. The silver plate may look good in the center of the the state shape, I donno? It's kinda "raw" looking right now and you get it that it's Oklahoma right away. So, a little breakup of that shape wouldn't hurt in my opinion. Try it in different places, see how it looks. That's a big improvement over the bowl shape in my opinion.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo
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post #12 of 13 Old 04-20-2017, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you. We're going to put the plate on the front face of the base.
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post #13 of 13 Old 04-27-2017, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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The music festival was held last night, and the award was given to Jimmy Lafave on the main stage. He's one of the pioneers of Red Dirt music, and he's been diagnosed was a rare, terminal cancer. He probably won't be around another year, so this was a big night. It was very emotional as well. I feel blessed to have been a part of it.





During his speech, Jimmy's words were, "Bob Dylan can keep his Nobel Prize. I got the Red Dirt award."
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