Saturday, November 27, 2010

Aum Table - The Story Behind Its Creation

Aum is a mystical and sacred syllable that is integral to the Indian religions of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. This symbol is taken to consist of the phonemes, "a", "u" and "m", which variously symbolize the Three Vedas or the Hindu Trimurti on the three stages of life (birth, life and death).

In 2003 I became profoundly fascinated with the idea of designing a sculptural piece of furniture that could capture the essence of this "name of God" symbol. The exercise turned out to be a humbling one, to say the least, although the process did result in the creation of the tables shown here.

Measuring 18" (46 cm.) wide x 15" (38 cm.) deep x 18" (46 cm.) high, each table has been sculpted from a pair of undulating ribbons of Macassar Ebony ply that had to be simultaneously bent and shaped to form. Inlaid beads of solid cherry were used to soften the corners.

Fixed bottom shelves were actually made for each of these tables (more for utilitarian purposes), but they were left off the final design because of how much I liked the unbroken flow of the curves. Besides, these tables would not look anywhere near as nice if there was "stuff" cluttering the underside.

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