Monday, May 23, 2011

Custom Commission - Kidney Shaped Desk

What follows is a series of photos of a recently completed custom commission for a Kidney Shaped Desk. These images will form the basis for a series of blog posts that will explain this desk in great detail, explaining not only the various holistic woods used but also the process for making the gold, copper and silver inlays that have been fitted into the pencil drawer.

This is the initial walnut blank with recesses cut to receive the gold, copper and silver inlays. After the inlay work is complete this piece will become the lid of the box located inside the pencil drawer.

The gold and silver inlays were cast using a lost wax process. This image shows the mold and wax casting for the silver Turtle inlay.

The mold and wax casting for the Eagle inlay, which ended up being made of gold.

Benchwork on the Turtle inlay.

Benchwork on Eagle inlay.

Cleaning the casting of the Eagle inlay.

Polishing the Eagle inlay.

Handscraping the copper Tree inlay. Since it is not practical to cast copper, this inlay was made of bar stock that was seamlessly soldered together.

Preparing to fit the inlay into the wood.

After much polishing and finessing by hand, the final fit is achieved.

The wood lid can now be sanded in preparation for gluing the inlay into place.

A protective Lanolin finish is carefully applied by hand to the Black Walnut lid and sculpted inlay pieces that will function as finger pulls under the drawers. It is highly relevant that these pieces are all located in areas that will be frequently touched, since this will allow the active holistic molecules of the Black Walnut wood to come into direct contact with the skin of the person using the desk.

The finished lid and finger pulls, ready to be fitted into desk.

Front view of the completed desk.

A closer view of the end detail of the desk.

Detail view of top, showing Macassar Ebony top apron and inset of black Tuscany leather.

Detail view of side drawer.

Pencil drawer - closed.

Pencil drawer - open.

Interior of pencil drawer, showing inlaid lid of Black Walnut. The trays on either side are made of Sassafras, which is a holistic wood known for its aromatherapeutic properties. The box portion below the inlaid lid has been crafted from a wood called Hawthorn, which is also known for its aromatherapeutic and Ayurvedic properties.

Detail view of inlaid finger pull below one of the side drawers. The finger pulls are made of a special cutting of Black Walnut wood, which has traditionally been used by Native American medicine women for its holistic properties.

The properties of all of the holistic woods, and the story behind the gold, copper and silver inlays in the lid, will be explained in greater detail in a subsequent post.

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