There are some pieces of furniture that do not go to the first person that the commission them. Something happens, they change their mind, they can’t afford it, the situation changes. This is one of those stories.
George wanted a very special luxury table. I had travelled all the way from Devon to the north of Birmingham to meet him. He showed me around the very attractive, but not unusual, home. He then described to me how they wanted a luxury table that would make this room really special.
“THEY WANTED A TABLE THAT WOULD MAKE THIS ROOM REALLY SPECIAL”
So I went away to burn some brain cells. The way I work is that I send my client a letter putting down, in writing, as much of what I’ve heard and thought since our meeting. I want to describe what they have told me. I want to also give an idea of how much this special luxury table will cost. Even though at that moment I don’t even know what it looks like,I give a “ball park figure”. Then I sit and think, for two weeks.
“THIS IS THE CREATIVE PROCESS…”
I went away rather puzzled, but I gave the problem my usual two weeks of thinking time. I always do this, I reflect the brief back to my client asking them have I got this right? This is what it might cost, if you need to tell me anything else, get in touch before I start on the drawings in two weeks.
After two weeks I start on the drawings and I make an appointment with the client. My aim now is to make two sets of drawings expressing two alternate ideas, giving the client a choice. These drawings are not set in stone, it is the best I can do at that moment. Frequently when I show them to the client, other ideas come tumbling out that resolves the problem. This is the creative process that involves me and them and a drawing of an idea.
In this case what happened was I was mulling over this problem of a tabletop when I saw just outside my front door a newly opened flower, a white clematis almost the size of a dinner plate. That was my special dining table.
Well, it wasn’t, although the idea was good George decided not to proceed with it. It took another client, several years later, to see the drawings and finally commission the piece.