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Against the Grain—Traditional Woodwork

Furniture has been a primary necessity in a space that possesses culture, art, and certainly the functional needs of the given environment. I wanted my project to correlate to my written thesis which is based on the exploration of traditional construction methods in Irish traditional furniture, vernacular in particular. The term vernacular is defined by the adaptation of living conditions which is utilising what was available on site from damp environments or what could be found within their home. Vernacular furniture can be identified by natural joineries, the type of timber, and a piece that has evidently been replaced due to the material quality and the spatial conditions. With the consideration of modernism, it is important to investigate the histories and developments of furniture and to acknowledge the longevity and authenticity of hand-making skills with limited tools and machineries which is what my project is based on.  

This project focuses on the principles of traditional techniques and natural joineries as they are followed throughout the structure of the collection: bench, coffee table, and side table. The use of traditional techniques and natural joinery are reliable in terms of longevity and durability if assembled correctly. The main joinery used to fabricate the objects is the wedged mortise and tenon that is fitted to give strength and durability that holds the pieces together along with the use of dowels that represents the strength of spindles in vernacular furniture which can easily be replaced in the furniture without the need of using modern mechanisms. The purpose is to interpret the traditional construction of woodworking to allow a connection between the designer and the materials which in this case understanding to respect the wood while correctly following the grains to ensure a stable and neat outcome.