For my first project at College of the Redwoods' Fine Woodworking Program, I decided to make a small wall cabinet. Working drawings are rarely used; rather, full-scale mockups are made from sketches. Cardboard and hot-glue guns can be a maker's best friend at this stage in a piece's development.
The design parameters for the first project are simultaneously strict and open-ended. Each piece must follow the "4 S's": Simple, Solid, Small, and Sweet. No glass, veneer, or bent laminations may be used. In the above picture, the mockup of my cabinet-to-be is sitting next to a large plank of Western Hemlock, a beautiful yet extremely soft wood that is native to the Pacific Northwest. I've never worked this wood before, and I can't wait to dive in.