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Pianoman
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What`s the first thing you think about when you want to build a cabinet? Who is it for... what is it for? How do I do this? Why am I wanting this? Should I be doing this? Maybe...if I buy a bunch of tools...I could be a woodworker! I know... I`ll join a woodworking forum...start a thread...I want to build a bookshelf...3 feet wide and 6 feet tall... any ideas? I`ll pick the best idea and do that! Right? Right! Well, you`ve got to start somewhere! You came to the right place!!! My question is...can we teach creativity? Maybe! Rick
 

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Creativity is natural in some of us, and with others it must be learned. I tend to think that in all of us it is little bit of both. Some creativity comes from within, and some gets triggered by the thoughts and ideas expressed by others. That's why this forum is so great. I get to pick the brains of others who are far more creative and skilled than I am.
Lucky me

So, the answer to your question, in my humble opinion, is "YES".

Gerry
 

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Senior Member from MN
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Well, just to get you thinking outside the "box" so to speak, how about making it rotate into the wall exposing your secret hallway like in Scooby Doo?

Or you could build a regular shelf but dress it up with nice molding/face frame. Or make it a built in?
 

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Think OUTSIDE THE BOX!!! How about several shelves hanging in the air with no visible means of suspension?

Seriously, though, so much has been done with wood for so long, it IS hard to be creative in an original way. We're mostly always copying or doing variations on a theme. I find that I really have to do regular exercises of my mind to get the creative juices flowing. Even when it comes naturally, stimulus helps keep it flowing.

Though I've got to admit, my most recent bout was not entirely natural. After four days of the flu, without food, a migraine that drugs wouldn't touch, 2 days of sleep and then 2 days of no sleep, the visions began flowing like a river. Innumerable design ideas just fast- forwarding in my brain! It was amazing, but alas, it's all faded now. (and then the paranoid delusions began of giant cardboard boxes everywhere) But it shows that it's there, if we can just find a REASONABLE way to draw it out of ourselves.
 

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The problem is that the box needs to be functional - therefore mostly rectangular. And it needs to hold books.

But the sides and even the face do not have to extend normal to the floor. One or more could be angled.

Another idea might be to use natural, bark edges or banding for the face frame or shelf edges.
 

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The problem is that the box needs to be functional - therefore mostly rectangular. And it needs to hold books.


[True enough. At least the inner space where the books are at. ]



But the sides and even the face do not have to extend normal to the floor. One or more could be angled.
Another idea might be to use natural, bark edges or banding for the face frame or shelf edges.

Also true enough. On the other hand, as I said before, it's all been done many times. It's creative, in a sense, but certainly nothing close to original. I mean, I use live edges regularly, and it lends a very unique look to a piece. (you can see some examples in MY GALLERY) But it's hardly original thinking.

So I guess we're talking about 2 different aspects: creativity, and originality. Not necessarily the same things. Can we be creative even if we're not being original? Sure. (my girlfriend just pointed out to me that the act of building things out of wood is, itself, inherently creative.) I think, for me, creativity comes into play the most in a couple of different ways. One way is in helping people resolve design problems when they have unusual situations, i.e. odd angled spaces, or unusual needs from a cabinet. The other way is in finding ways to give ordinary cabinets a sense of individuality. A touch, or detail which makes them readily unique from your standard run-of-the-mill wood boxes. Sometimes I succeed more than other times. But it is a great challenge to avoid constant repetition.
 
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