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Breaking Down the Design of a Mystery Object


Of great frustration is that I cannot discover who designed/built the object in this image that I found floating around the internet. If you know whose work this is, please sound off, as I am desperate to examine the rest of this person’s portfolio.

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This object’s design is all over the place, which we’ll get to in a minute, but my eye was drawn to the exposed drawer runners, which are made from square dowels set at a 45-degree angle that correspond with V-grooves plowed into the drawer sides.

After studying the image, my guess is that the concept of those runners was the genesis of the object.

Here’s My Breakdown:

This piece is almost certainly a one-off or an experiment. It appears to have been produced from cut-offs. Some giveaways:

– This seam (A-A) indicates the top is glued up from two pieces of what appear to be an expensive and figured wood.

– These seams (B-B and C-C) indicate the legs, too, are glue-ups.

– It’s made from small pieces of three different wood species that are not entirely complementary.

There’s nothing in the photo to indicate scale, but this seems to be jewelry-box-size. I’d guess the drawer handles are 1/4″ or 3/8″ square dowels. And with the topmost drawer at least, there is enough light to see jewelry-box-like dividers within.

What I Don’t Like About the Design:

1. The routed profile on the edges of the top. It doesn’t match anything else in the design. Had this piece been produced by a shopmate, I’d have suggested to them that the edge profile ought somehow reference the 45-degree-angle theme of the runners, which must look like diamonds from the front.

2. The V-grooves in the sides of the drawers have been extended across the drawer faces. This is why I say the concept of the runners is probably what the designer started with. I understand why the V-groove continues along the faces; since they opted for miter joints, there would be no way to reconcile grooves in the sides with an uninterrupted face.

To be clear, it’s not the grooves in the faces per se that bother me; it’s how the drawer pulls are attached to the face in a visually clumsy way. Look at the dark triangle created by attaching the flat-backed drawer pull to the face:

There’s no relationship there; the connection looks ill-considered.

3. The color tones of the top and the drawers complement each other, and the drawers and the sides complement each other. But the top and the sides are neither complementary nor matching. This reinforces my belief that the object was made from cut-offs and that the designer used whatever was on hand.

What I Like About the Design:

1. The concept of the runners.

2. The construction of the handles, if not their connection points and overall aesthetic. The designer has gone with square dowels that protrude through the sides of their brackets. Through-mortises of such scale are not easy to execute with precision (at least for me) and the craftsperson has done what looks like a very good job with no egregious gaps, at least that I can make out in a photo of this resolution.

I suppose that makes me a fan of the execution of this more than the design. I really need to see this piece from a front view to see how it looks.

3. The experimental nature of the piece speaks of bravery. This is why I’m very keen to see the rest of this person’s book.

So please, if any of you know who produced this, please do let us know!

Source: core77

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Rating Breaking Down the Design of a Mystery Object is 5.0 / 5 Votes: 2
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