My wife is a high school English teacher, so we work hard here at home to make sure we speak more goodly… I mean better… Definitely better.
A part of that effort is that we play a bit of a game when it comes to spelling and grammar. I have been asked to take out my camera to document a misspelled or poorly punctuated sign. In fact, she offers extra credit to her students if they can submit a sign with a spelling or grammar mistake. Some of the submissions are pretty funny.
Another thing that makes her want to pull her hair out are modified absolutes. What are those? Well, think about a newscaster reading a story about a fire that totally destroyed a building. Since destroyed means that everything is collapsed and in a smoldering pile, there can’t be a partial destruction… either it is, or it isn’t. In the same way, you can’t have something that is kind of perfect.
The one that drives her up a wall is used frequently on those talent scout reality shows. You know – American Idol. America’s Got Talent. Stuff like that. After a performer finishes his or her song, one of the judges is bound to say, “wow, that is the most unique act I have ever seen.” Either it’s unique, or it’s not…
When it comes to woodworking, there are hardly any unique ideas left. A table is a flat top that you can use. A bookshelf is someplace you can store nick-knacks or books on. A chair is someplace to park your behind.
But, that doesn’t mean you can’t take the design into different directions. Recently, Chris Wong hosted a great event – the shop stool build off. This event took place on January 25, and 45 entries were eventually received. Talk about some creative thinking.
While there were many traditional designs, there were others that pushed the design limits. One of my favorite submissions was this one, using plywood in unexpected ways. I loved how the stool uses curves and is shaped to expose the plies on the seat.
This one is a totally organic design, featuring branch legs and a nearly whole log as the bench. Not sure how comfortable it would be to sit on for a while, it definitely showcased the creativity of the builder.
These are just four of 45 entries, so you may want to cruise on over to Chris’ site to see each of them. Who knows what type of inspiration you may find while you are there?