Portfolio: Wall Cabinet #1

March 22, 2008

cooperedcabinet.jpg

coopdetail3.jpgWall cabinet #1.

This cabinet is inspired by the work of a cabinetmaker named James Krenov. In woodworking circles he is legendary, not only for his craftsmanship but for his writings and philosophy about the craft.

Rather than design a piece of furniture and then go buy wood to build it, he would find a piece of wood that appealed to him and let an idea for a cabinet emerge from what he saw in that particular piece of wood – from the figure, the color. Sometimes a board would sit around his shop for years before he decided what to do with it. This is the converse of how most furniture is designed and built. And his method, of course, doesn’t work at all when something is designed for mass production. Maybe that’s why this approach appeals to me so much.

This cabinet, meant to hang on the wall, happened in this Krenov way. I had the wood left over from another project. One day, sorting through a stack of such wood, what we call “offcuts,” I came upon this board of maple with a streak of brown color through it. A picture of this cabinet popped into my head immediately. Rarely does design happen so magically, but it is exciting when it does. This is a small cabinet, almost more ornamental than practical, but it’s about the right size to stash a favorite bottle of scotch, say.

This piece, of course, cannot be duplicated exactly, but I have many pieces of wood from which I can build similar cabinets. Cost for such a piece is about $300.

16 inches tall x 5 inches wide x 6 inches deep

(Photos by Gary Rogowski and Bob Passaro)

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