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18 July 2008



"A Touch of Class"


I have deliberately saved the best for last this week. Joe Dusel was the driving force behind our setting up this website, and one of the things he most wanted to do was talk about the many items that are new and available for kitchens and bathrooms. Which I must say, I have done to the point of exhaustion. We have also featured a fair number of cabinetmakers on these pages, which may seem to be cutting our own throats, but custom cabinetmaking, if it is to be truly custom, is local. Any cabinets that are shipped across the country are just cabinets someone makes in what might as well be one of those big factories. They’re not a custoJoe Dusel 2m job, because they can’t be. The most you can hope for if you’re getting your cabinets from a factory is to have an option of modifying them somewhat, thereby achieving what is referred to as semi-custom cabinetry.

Some people are happy with that sort of thing, and I’m not going to argue with those who are, because for one thing it is often a matter of budget. But sometimes it’s just a matter of vision, and I do think it’s fair to comment on that. One of our fellow Pro Guild members tells clients who are a bit hesitant to pay his prices, "Hey, go to Home Depot, and check them out. If you can’t tell the difference between their cabinets and mine, buy those. They’re cheaper." But I digress. What I really set out to do was talk about my partner’s work, so let’s do that.

This is a difficult concept to explain, but I’m going to try. A home theater can easily over power a room. And, yes, I know that sounds like an oxymoron in some respects, because typically a home theater pretty much IS the room. But what I’m trying to say with this is that a home theater, if it is well designed, should, despite its size, be part of the room, not all of it. And that is true even if it occupies all of the room. So, how is that to be achieved, exactlJoe Dusel 3y? By designing it with grace. And as for how one does that, well, that is a mystery. I don’t even know where my own designs come from, and when I look at those of others I often find myself feeling like a total dope, utterly convinced that I could sit at a drawing board the rest of my life and never come up with something like that.


Those are the designs we all want to come up with, the ones that have an absolute logic to them but also have a flair, or an element of grace, that sets them apart. I’m disposed to like Joe’s work because he is often inspired by designs from the Eastern Hemisphere, some of which tends to revolve around the peace of a Zen garden—the simple made serene made right as rain.

Joe calls his website: Woodistry "Artistry in Wood", and it really is because he has a decided flair for expressing much with just a simple line or two. Looking at the home theater we’re featuring on today’s blog (go to Woodistry for the details on it), I have every confidence that I could go out to the shop and set to work on one just like it. But coming up with the idea in the first place, aye, that’s the rub.


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