I did this piece with my colleague Spider Johnson from Mason, Texas, for the Texas Furniture Makers Show this past November. The concept was two-fold: A transition from raw wood at the bottom, up through the sculpted tree trunk and branches, to the refined cabinet at the top representing the canopy of the tree. (The cabinet hangs on the wall with a cleat, and the faux “base” is not attached.)
The second transition- from Autumn to Spring- is revealed when the door is opened…The door is a tambour door, which in itself is not unusual, but we have never seen Marquetry tambours before. The door pull is an actual section of a Blue Thorn branch with the live edge left on. Lastly, we made a free-floating veneer leaf that sits on top, as if it has blown up there from the front. We also copied a flower from the inside fabric and created one in marquetry on the floor of the cabinet inside- with a shadow on it to make it Trompe L’oeil. The cabinet is wrapped in Camphor Burl veneer, which waterfalls over the sides.
3/4 view, showing the Camphor Burl veneer as it waterfalls over the sides of the cabinet.
The tambour door opens to reveal the transition from Autumn to Spring. THe tambours are backed on canvas, and then covered with a floral fabric that shows when the door is opened. We also pattern-matched the back wall so everything looked seamless when the door was fully opened. We used the red flower design from the inside fabric for the marquetry flower that lies on the inside bottom of the cabinet.
The marquetry piece was completed first, and then cut into tambours on a scroll saw with a 0.004" blade, resulting in cut lines that are barely visible and also removed very little of the design so that the pattern was not interrupted much. The door pull is a section of a Blue Thorn branch with the live edge left on.
A single, free-floating leaf was made and placed on top, giving the effect of it having blown across the front and landing there.
We added a plaque on the bottom with our company name and signatures, all in marquetry, of course!