Title: “MosArt ™, Pieces”
Year work was completed: 2016
Materials: 44 different species and figured grain patterns to include: 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, hard, bird’s eye, and tiger; Olive wood; Osage orange; Padauk; Pear wood; Pink ivory; Purpleheart; Red Mallee burl; Rosewood East Indian and Bolivian; Satinwood- Ceylon and Brazilian; Sycamore; Tamboti; Teak; Tulipwood; Wenge; Western white cedar; Zebrawood; and Ziricote.
Construction: Hand cut dovetails for all of the drawer sides, sliding dovetails for the drawer runners and drawer blades, hand cut dovetails joining the upper case rail to the tops of the legs, hand cut mortice and tenons for the frame and panel back and case bottom, hand cut mortice and tenons for the joints between the side rails and legs, Drawer bottoms, side panels, back panels, and case bottom panels are ½ mahogany veneer core plywood to insure minimal wood movement. The top is formed from two panels of ½ mahogany veneer core plywood which is blind tenoned onto the case. Only hand joinery is utilized to secure all of the case elements to each other in keeping with the finest late 18th and early 19th century furniture construction techniques honoring such furniture making firms as Gillow’s of London and Lancaster. A mahogany boarder was applied on all sides of the top and doors to insure good adhesion of the wood application on show surface. Doors are ¾ mahogany veneer core plywood with a mahogany boarder. Drawers are ¾ plywood with solid mahogany border. The legs are three piece laminated construction to insure minimal wood movement. There are no screws or nails securing the case. The only screws are on the hardware. The case is secured with mortice and tenons and sliding dovetails adhered with fish glue. The top is secured with blind tenons applied from the legs to the top. Size: 66” Length x 21.5” Width x 30.5” Height
Philosophy: We designed this sideboard/credenza to be a very functional case piece that is constructed to the highest standards of furniture making seen in the 18th and 19th centuries resembling the work of the Gillow’s firm of Lancaster and London. We wanted the flat surfaces of the top and front of the doors, drawers, and legs to act as a single canvas on which the nearly 250 pieces of highly figured and naturally colored wood was applied as if like paint on a canvas using the orientation of the grain as brush strokes and the color of the wood as the paint on the artist’s pallet. The patterns of the applied woods represent the “Abstract Expressionism, Abstract Illusionism, and Cubism movements of the late 19th and 20th centuries. The color, grain characteristics, and shapes of the applied mosaic pieces were carefully chosen for their positon within the composition to create a sense of tension and dynamics between the various elements in a manner similar to the paintings of Vassily Kandinsky, Fernanad Leger, and Piet Mondrian. The wood used in the construction of the piece is all “old stock” which we have saved for over 30 years of collecting or from collections of “old stock” which we have purchased ensuring that we are not promoting the cutting of any LIVE Trees in the production of our work. We also retain small cut-offs to reuse in the mosaic portions of our work. These practices coupled with our use of low and moderately low VOC coating and adhesives, FSC certified substrate materials with no or very low formaldehyde, and our electric is provided by photovoltaic cell panels are considered to follow Leed Platinum, Gold, and Silver Certification Guidelines as well as Green Practices, and Best Practices.
Exhibitions: The sideboard had its public depute at the 22nd annual Philadelphia Furniture Show on April 8th through the 10th, 2016 where is was featured on the cover of the furniture shows bulletin and on the cover of the “Look Book” Craft Boston 2016, Western Design Conference 2016, American Fine Craft Show Washington DC 2016, AD20/21 Fine Art Show Boston 2017, ArtExpo New York City 2017, Baltimore Fine Craft Show 2017.
Effort: The layout and fabrication of this sideboard required 455 hours to complete and approximately 80 board feet of domestic and exotic wood both in solid and custom cut 18th’ thick veneer. The case is finished both inside and out with approximately 50 layers of French polish applied in the traditional manner for the outside elements of the case.
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 institutive health and beauty. It is often used to assist one in spiritual healing.