I started out with the seat of the stool based on a hand-drawn sketch. The initial idea was to use maple wood for the whole stool, so I bought some at the local woodshop Dikhout. Then, one of the other students brought a small block of purpleheart with him, a left-over from one of his earlier woodworking projects. It was just enough to combine it with the maple to make the seat of the stool.
After having squared and planed the five pieces of wood (3 maple, 2 purpleheart) and having cut them to size, they are glued together using regular wood glue.
As a beginner I find it amazing that something as simple as this seat can be so professional-looking already, thanks to the use of proper machines.
The next step is to make the mortises in the seat, and to create four legs with tenons. I used a Japanese saw to make the tenons.
The picture below gives an idea of what the stool should look like when finished. I plan to taper the ends of each leg on their two inner sides, such that they look more elegant.