Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Composites


When I tried to express my concerns for changing and disguising materials (see previous post), a colleague replied very aptly: "But it's not about disguise. When they add a coat of lime to stone walls, it's not a question of hiding the stone, but of protecting it, and reflecting the sun." So she knew intuitively the conclusion I came to through experience.

For the shelf I initially wanted all the pieces just to slot together or hold by friction. I changed my mind because I wanted to be sure they would stay straight, even with heavy books, and my sawing skills were a bit too approximate for my liking. Then I was thinking I would use wooden dowels to peg the pieces together. Finally, I decided I would assemble it with screws first, just to make sure the pieces fit, and then make the wooden connections. But it has been several weeks and I have been using the shelf with the screw connections, trying to decide if I want to take it apart to put it back together with wood. 

After consideration, I think it is purely an aesthetic/texture decision. I can't say that having removable screws is an important characteristic (such as for Ikea furniture) because I designed this shelf for this apartment, and even a particular place in the apartment. If I move, the shelf stays. I can't say that having wooden dowels will make it stronger, or are necessary to resist torque. I guess if I use dowels it would be so that I can acquire the skill of how to make those connections.