Contemporary Table Variation Circa 1980

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Contemporary Table Variation Circa 1980

Postby John » Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:13 pm

Sometimes the source for design ideas come from the strangest places.

The coffee table idea posted earlier created much negative reaction amongst "woodworkers" because I "hacked" through perfect joinery--as if there were some unwritten rule about wood joints. Also, I ruined part of the tables function with those cuts. So what?

This so angered me that I designed the piece here--and it deliberately violates a bunch of unwritten woodworking "rules" and plays with the notion of craftsmanship--the dovetails and proportions (the hard part) are dead-on and everything else (the easy parts) are screwed up with visual puns. In addition;

It is not symmetrical
The drawers are faux
The screw holes were plugged with fake screw heads out of rosewood
One of the screw holes was plugged with a fake bolt and washer made from maple.
The top is not the same thickness
The fake screws on the fat leg are flathead rosewood, countersinked and two are in crooked, one is countersunk too deep.

One guy (happened to be a woodworker) asked me why there was one bolt head. I told him I ran out of rosewood screws--he commented that was too bad, this ruined the table.

The whole purpose of this piece for me was to counter one type of human nature with the opposite. And I love the conflict between craftsmanship and carelessness which comes across as callousness.

Anyway back to this piece--this is really a combination table/pedestal and just about anything placed on the pedestal portion looks fantastic. Yes the drawers are fake to create a great hiding place with the open compartment at the back.

The discussion point here is that if you find yourself bound by "rules" you don't understand, don't be afraid to break them.

Also, don't be afraid to have fun or get torqued by those who are bound by rules. (Seems to me most of the problems in the world today involve rules and dogma...)

Lastly, know when to quit--and this is not easy.

-John Economaki


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Postby PFranks » Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:26 pm

Boy - when you get contrary, you make beautiful furniture, John! After your description I was expecting something really awkward. But that's an extremely graceful piece - even with its screws, bolts, washers, etc. I think the maple bolt really makes the piece - it's obviousness draws your eye away from the lines of the top, and makes you wonder, "Why?" Once you notice that it's made of wood, you'd get in a bit closer to explore the other details, and discover the little secrets you embedded in it.

I'm presuming that you didn't do the same thing on the other end of the piece? That you'd have to approach it from that side to get the joke?

I love the way the light plays off the graceful arc on the top. And regardless of whether they're drawers or not, the shadow lines on the apron are a nice relief.
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Postby flairwoodworks » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:18 am

I am a big fan of the three pieces you have thusfar in the gallery here. This table, especially, is really thought provoking and reminds me of Gary Knox Bennett's "Nail Cabinet". To me, a good piece of work doesn't just look nice, but it inspires much thought. And really good work give you the chills. Your aforementioned table does just that for me. Genius!

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