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This piece was primarily inspired by the piano. The client who asked me to make it was musically inclined and wanted a piece of furniture to reflect the contrasting beauty of the piano. A somewhat challenging task to design the piece but an utterly enjoyable one.
I kept the construction & joinery methods simple and durable, wedge m&t joints, wooden nails from the inside, through & half blind dovetails, mitred slip tenons, etc. The symmetry also had to be simple keeping things geometrically square. The only curvature that I introduced was in the doors & panels, to which I replicated the radius of a candle flame in the cut outs and also on the legs. The theory behind this was that when there were no electricity in homes, people used candles on two brass holders on the face of the piano, and I wanted to include this subtlety.
The finish took some research too as I was new to Ebonising entirely. After much research I concluded that White Oak soaked in an Iron Acetate solution worked well due to the high Tannic Acid content in Oak and Ash seemed to bleach extremely well. Both were neutralised and sealed with shellac and the overall piece was given 3 coats of PC Lacquer before a finish Paste Wax buffing.
I also used Black Lacobel Glass for the doors, panels and a large pane for the top, not the cheapest material in the world but well worth the expense.
The piece was entered into an exhibition titled ‘Ebony & Ivory Sideboard’, prior to customer possession.
I’m originally from Ireland where I learned my trade and worked as acabinet maker for the last 12 years but recently moved to Calgary, Canada.
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