Woodworker: Andy Rae
Working with fellow furniture maker Jan Derr, Rae designed this freestanding island for a furniture-loving couple with a houseful of Arts-and-Crafts furniture. The challenge was to build a functional kitchen island, with deep drawers, a shallow case behind doors for appliances, and electrical service, and to make it look like furniture, not typical kitchen casework. The island stands on five solid-walnut legs, with grain-matched inset drawers and doors fitted with dark, patinated steel pulls that set off the oiled and lacquered walnut. The “torched” granite top was flamed on its top surface and hand chipped along the edges to give it texture. Unbeknownst to the couple, during the building phase Rae and Derr incorporated three secret storage areas into the cabinet’s base, revealing them only when installation was complete and the bill was paid. The look of surprise, delight, and gratitude from the new owners was priceless, said Rae.
Photo: Andy Rae