WoodSkills Issue 02 - Page 16

FURNITURE MAKER

THE JOURNEY

An insight into the aspirations and defining moments in the quest to be a

furniture maker. This article chronicles a personal account of the journey

The cabinet could be outfitted with many drawers and dividers to hold her jewelry. More discussion ensued and with her approval, a few preliminary sketches of a design were drafted and rendered into larger scale drawings. After a follow-on meeting we agreed on the basic criteria of the design and price of the cabinet. The client gave me carte blanche and artistic license to include interesting elements to the design. We agreed on an Art Deco theme. Jewelry specific hardware such as revolving brass carousels for necklaces would be installed. Individual drawers would be lined with velvet and have dividers installed. The doors were frame and panel construction with curly maple panels.

Door and drawer pulls were carved from complementary woods. Blackwood and holly would be used together for a monochrome effect. The drawer fronts would be dovetailed into the sides. To hold true to James Krenov style, knife hinges would also be installed to hang the doors to the case. Having already built one cabinet using knife hinges, I felt comfortable with this choice. The cabinet sides, top, bottom, door rails and stiles would be Black Cherry. Cherry naturally ages over time and contrasts well with the lighter curly maple door panels. The cabinet stand would also be made from cherry. Since the design called for an Art Deco aesthetic, it was suggested to inlay diamond elements into the front of the cabinet.

Construction began on the jewelry armoire using methods of work recently gained through courses at Rosewood Studio. Hand tools formed a large percentage of the build. Hand planes and scrapers were used on the surfaces of the wood components. Prior to my education in fine furniture making, machines were used for a majority of the work with hand planes used for fitting. It was surprising at how much enjoyment I derived from the hand tool process. Dovetail joinery of drawer fronts was performed by hand using a previously designed dovetail jig. With a total of eight drawers, I hunkered down and created the dovetail joinery at one sitting.

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(L) Installing bake-ins prior to veneering door panels.

(R) Knife hinge fitting