Desk Circa 1981

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Desk Circa 1981

Postby John » Sun Aug 30, 2009 3:50 pm

One of the more interesting commissions I worked on was the desk pictured below.


The client was a psychologist who worked with violent patients and he had some very specific requirements both physically and psychologically for his desk.

Briefly, the top needed to hold 1500 lbs-this is for the violent patient and the three or four security personal who may end up on top of the desk in what was described to me as an "episode". (There were no PC's back then, so the top held a blotter and a phone.)

There needed to be a space underneath the desk for a hidden gun and room for the doctor to hide out until help arrived. There also needed to be a hidden document space.

Emotionally, we talked about wood choices and I suggested Koa--it is so beautiful and calming. Easily one of my favorite woods--works like walnut, maybe easier, and keeps its rich color.

As for the design, all I could think about was the calming effect of a visit to the beach. So water became my theme.

The tapered modesty panel was designed to emulate the calming effect of a waterfall--you can see this a bit in the image where the light dances off the polished end grain surfaces of the sculpted rosewood strips. There are over 600 individually sculpted pieces (all unique) in the modesty panel and I can still remember sanding them all.

Continuing with the water theme, the top is wave shaped. In addition, the user side of the desk is narrower than the patient side to create an "open arms" like like atmosphere for meaningful dialog--similar to how a river widens as it progress.

Because of this shape the drawer fronts are convex on the right side and concave on the left--this image below was prior to the attachment of the pulls-

I sold this piece for $14K in the early 80's and new right away that I was going to lose my shirt--so I made two as a hedge. The second desk went on a national tour and someone dropped a granite sculpture stand on the top and dug out a 3/4" deep chunk. The insurance company paid me and I was asked to dispose of the desk any way I see fit.

And fit it does--just barely in my office. Because I am left handed, the ding was on the right, the perfect spot to drill a 1-1/2" diameter phone port. I have been sitting at this desk from the day Bridge City was founded--26 years and counting--sans gun of course.

It was fun to reminisce about this piece--When I get a chance I will post some images of my chairs--unfortunately this will take some time, all of my slides have mold--very sad.

Lastly, the only reason I am sharing this old stuff is to get you folks to share your new stuff.


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