Friday, December 19, 2008

An Art Deco Macassar Ebony Cabinet

Will, signing the piece .. click to enlarge the pictures Be sure to check the comment below from 'Lurch' about the inlay in the inspiration photo ... power of the internet ...

Close up of the finished inlay

All in ... all done ... delivered to the city

12/23/ 08 ... the cabinet is off to the finishers. Shown above, the construction is totally finished and Tuesday Will and I took to a friend's shop (Holman Studios) and disassembled it to the bones to be sprayed with a fine Art Deco style lacquer finish .... Click photos to enlarge them ...

This is a quick update before we rout the doors for the circular inlay. We fitted the doors and edged them with 2/16" strips of ebony so we can sand them for final fitting. The doors themselves are quartered mahogany vertical grain panels panels with 1/16th" crossbanding. The poplar board on the right is a test fit for the rather fussy to locate, (but extremely elegant), knife hinges.

Here the doors have been veneered and the hinges have been cut in .... central inlay tomorrow
OK, here comes another long one ... We're wrapping up a cabinet that is loosely based on a period piece by the French designer Clement Mere who made fabulous Art Deco Style pieces in the 20's ... When my client sent me the picture, her exact words were "Hi, We don't have to copy it exactly, so we'll work with this as an inspiration." ... Good thing ... I'd like to meet the guy who could copy that one .... How did they do that inlay or whatever it is ???? .. Here's the picture .. Click the photos to enlarge them ...

Anyway, I did some trial sketches for the central inlay and we finally settled on part of a design from a Tiffany vase that the client liked.
We tried doing it like the picture with two different ovals alternating around a circle, but settled on four the same.
Drew the inlay and cabinet in our cad program
Trevor made a sample inlay confirming that we wanted the oval designs all the same

We got some Macassar ebony veneer from our friends at Certainly Wood ... They have a GREAT website where you can actually pick the flitch of veneer you're buying, which was extremely helpful for my client.

Veneered some mahogany legs (with ebony corners so we could bevel them a bit) and some mahogany panels for the top, bottom, sides and doors ... see the photo at the top of this post ..
And now we're ready to veneer the doors and wrap it up ... Update later this week or next
And cut the ebony and mother of pearl for the central door inlays.

The central inlay is almost complete


Unknown said...

Very cool to see these various stages of design here... from drawings to cad to cnc routing. I guess you needed a fairly large piece of MOP to cnc route those pieces... do you have a MOP supplier that you recommend?

Dorset Custom Furniture said...

We cut those pieces from smallish random chunks (+/- 1" x 1,25" or so) that we get from Stewart MacDonald, the guitar supply store. It's kind of a trick. We glue the small chunks on a line on an 8.5 x 11" piece of mdf. Scan the mdf, write the files, and then cut them on the cnc and release them from the mdf in the microwave. Took a couple years to figure that one out. Here's the link,_pearl.html
We do not use the abalam stuff and I don't recommend it for our kind of inlay work ...

Anonymous said...

How did they do that inlay or whatever it is ????

Hello there - I have some pieces of that inlay, because my great-uncle was Franz Waldraff who worked with Clément Mère. They are flat slices of ivory, carved, painted, and with gold plating and small pearls set in them. No mosaic, the whole panel is one oblong piece.

Happy New Year,

Dorset Custom Furniture said...

Hello Lurch ... Could you please send me your email or a photo of the pieces of the inlay. I would LOVE to see it in person to see how it was done. Thanks .... dan

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