Title: De Stijl
Year work was completed: 2016
Form: Coffee Table/Bench
Materials: American Hard Maple, African, Honduran, Santo Domingo mahogany, American Black walnut, American cherry, Aromatic red cedar, Asian elm, Birdseye maple, Black and white ebony, Bloodwood, Bocote, Boxwood, Brazilian cherry, Brown Mallee, Bubinga, Cocobolo, English walnut, Goncalo Alves, Holly, Kingwood, Koa, Macassar Ebony, Maple Soft and Hard and Bird’s Eye and Tiger; Olive wood, Osage orange, Padauk, Pear wood, Pink ivory, Purple heart, Red Mallee burl, Rosewood East Indian and Bolivian, Satinwood- Ceylon and Brazilian; Sycamore, Tamboti, Teak, Tiger maple, Tulipwood, Wenge, Western white cedar, Zebrawood, and Ziricote.
Construction: Hand cut dovetails in our signature pattern to attach the sides to the top and blind mortise and tenons to secure the cross stretcher to the sides. All the joints were secured with fish glue. The custom cut 1/8th” veneer was cut from “old stock” fragments and small boards which we have collected for over 30 years and were secured with fish glue.
Size: Length 60” x Width 18” x height 20”
Philosophy: We designed the coffee table/bench to function as either form and to commemorate the Neo-Plastisism Movement arising out of Holland in the 1918 time period known as De Stijl hence the title of the work. It is reminiscent of the painting by Piet Mondrian with the square and rectilinear elements divided by black lines. The top and bottom edges of the stretcher were cut to align with the rectilinear elements and to empathize the negative space which also appears on the top and sides. The use of “old stock” wood and low VOC coatings and adhesives as well as our electrical power is generated via photovoltaic cells is considered to follow Leed Building Practices, Green Practices, and Best Practices.
Exhibitions: The coffee table/bench was debuted in 2016 at the ArtExpo at Pier 94 in New York City where it was sold to a private collector.
Effort: The layout and fabrication of the coffee table/bench required 140 hours to complete and approximately 20 square feet of American Hard Maple and approxioamtly 10 square feet of custom cut 1/8th” veneer.
Meaning or Importance of Material: The meaning of the various woods used varies within the communities and cultures where the trees grow and are harvested. Many of the exotic woods have been revered for their figured grain and color by furniture makers for 100’s of years. As a few examples, figured maple and American Black Walnut have been used in the production of both urban and rural furniture for nearly 400 years and have been revered for their strength, color, and figure. Walnut has been associated with our ability to use our minds clearly and become focused. It has also been associated with the human breath as well as having been used for the maintenance of health and disease prevention. Maple has been associated with giving of ourselves to others and is considered the tree of offering by Native American cultures. Juniper holds powers of protection, healing, strength, love and peace. Oliver wood is associated with insight, communication, and inspiration. Hawaiian Koa is a sacred wood and represents strength and integrity as well as balance for the masculine and beauty and wisdom for the feminine. We utilize all of the wood fragments in our work that may lie on a machine or bench top or floor ensuring there is no waist. The woods are placed into pins based on their color and size and are used as an artist uses a pallet of paint. The energies of rosewood are primarily feminine and are focused on the spiritual and institute health and beauty. It is often used to assist one in spiritual healing.