Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cabinet base design...

I'm picking up where I left off on the beech cabinet I began a few weeks ago. The cabinet itself is fairly complete except for three dovetailed drawers. I will build the drawers only after having decided on the type of wood to use for the cabinet base. The reason I am doing this is to bring some of the color from the cabinet base up to the cabinet itself. The very first step in this process is to select the type and color of wood to use for the base. I have the option of either making the base of the same wood (European beech) as the cabinet itself, or selecting a contrasting wood instead. If contrasting, how much variation in the color and grain pattern also.

I've been mulling over this for a few days now as I complete some smaller items in my studio. It is not a simple decision as it can affect the complete aesthetics of the piece. I need to consider if the eyes are going to be drawn away from the upper cabinet and how much so. I also need to design the cabinet and base to be in harmony with each other. I have the actual design in mind, the stumbling block now is the color and which wood to use for the base.

In the photo, I have a fairly large plank of mahogany I have kept for quite a while now. The plank is rift-sawn and has ribbons of color in it, although subtle. Using this wood would provide the base with a reddish-brown color once the patina of the wood has developed completely. This is something that should always be considered when selecting woods for a piece of furniture. after a number of months or years, what color will the wood finally attain. It is important when using two colors or tones of wood, as the initial contrast might either become subdued or more pronounced over time.

This is one option I have, to use this plank for the base components. I should decide in the next few days however...

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