Learn Scott's Secrets

Contact

505.603.5659

  CONTACT SCOTT >>

Socialize

Link with ScottJoin Scott on Google PlusLike Scott on Facebook

Building the Shark Tank marquetry cabinet

                   shark tank photo

Marquetry is a technique where you cut various wood veneers on a scroll saw and piece them together to make pictures. The technique has been around for a long time. The pharaohs had marquetry on their furniture. It was big in the Renaissance, where it was often used in trompe l'oeil and it really hit it's stride during the Art Nouveau period. Since then.......not so much. 

As a craft, marquetry requires precision, time, skill and the eye of an artist. Not to mention a range of wood veneers in various colors, tones, shades and grain patterns. When I designed this custom cabinet for my client I knew that it would be a challenge to make wood look like water. 

Read more: Building the Shark Tank marquetry cabinet

Making the tambour door credenza

                             blog torpedo pic

 

This custom maple credenza was built for a client of mine in Santa Fe. It has tambour doors (like a roll top desk, but they slide horizontally) that are made from curly maple. You can read about how the design process worked on this blog post about designing this custom credenza.

The construction process started with a full scale plan drawing of the inside of the cabinet which showed the track that the tambour doors ran in, the location of the interior dividers and the location of the false sides and false backs that hide the doors from view when they are open. The drawing also showed the shape and location of the routing template that I needed to route the tambour door dado. 

Read more: Making the tambour door credenza

My article in Fine Wood Working Magazine

fww cover

A year ago I was approached by Fine Wood Working magazine to write an article about tambour doors. It's now on the streets in the latest issue. I built the cabinet below for the article and the editor came out to the shop for the photo shoot back in the early summer. 

tambour cabinet

tambour cabinet open

fww article

You can see another recent publication that featured my work here.

Designing a custom media cabinet

Don Gaspar-00309 Flat

I designed and built this custom media cabinet for the client of an interior decorator in Santa Fe. The way the design process went is a perfect example of how I like to design pieces of custom furniture. When I first met with the decorator to talk about what the piece should look like, she grabbed a pencil, did this sketch and said that this was what she wanted it to look like.

Screen Shot 2013-07-31 at 2.21.35 PM

Read more: Designing a custom media cabinet

Bespoke: Furniture from 101 International Artists

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 11.11.32 AM

I was recently featured in E. Ashley Rooney's book "Bespoke: Furniture from 101 International Artists". There's some pretty nice stuff in it from furniture artists around the world. You can get a copy at Amazon.

"A reaction to the disposable, mass-produced furniture born of the Industrial Revolution, custom designed studio and bespoke furniture has been around for many decades. Those who appreciate handcrafted excellence find this furniture adds richness and texture to interior design. This is substantial furniture that provides a satisfying visual and tactile impact. The experienced artisans who produce these useful works of art add handcrafted beauty to every piece. One hundred one artisans' works are presented here from throughout the United States and around the world. Over 640 brilliant color photos reveal the unique and useful art objects each artisan creates to the readers. The engrossing text introduces readers to each of the artisans and their intentions. Readers will also find contact information for the artisans, their studios, and galleries. Three experts, Gary Inman, Thomas Throop, and Lewis Wexler, also contributed to the text."

Designing the Shark Tank marquetry cabinet

                   shark tank photo

Some of my clients have a pretty good idea of what they want their piece of custom furniture to look like, but not many. Usually they have a hint of an idea. And an approximate size. The client I built this cabinet for has always just told me that they wanted something in a particular space and then waited to see what I proposed. As I got to know them over the years I came to realize that they had pretty ecclectic taste and some pretty interesting artwork in their home. In this case they had a 9' long hammerhead shark that had been completely covered in beads by the artist Kathy Honea and they wanted a piece of furniture to go under it. Okee dokie. I'll see what I can come up with.........

Read more: Designing the Shark Tank marquetry cabinet

Tambour door credenza

          Blog- torpedo cabinet

My client needed a credenza for their living room and they had a picture that they had pulled out of a magazine for inspiration. "I don't know why we're showing this to you, because we don't really like it. The color is too dark, the shape is too boxy.... I guess we sort of like these shelves that stick out from the sides". I wish I still had that picture; it shows a perfect example of learning a lot about what a client wants by what they don't want. In this case I knew that they didn't want dark and they didn't want it to be too square. They also told me that they wanted storage. Something that could be used for display as well as for tucking things away. I suggested that tambour doors might be a good way to go since they could be left partly open to display what they wanted to show while hiding the other stuff and since the tambour doors slide to the side and hide in the cabinet itself, they don't stick out into the room when left open. I suggested maple heartwood for the case because it is light in color but not stark white, and curly maple for the doors to give the tambours some sparkle.

Read more: Tambour door credenza

Designing a pair of carved doors

blog - Rivera doors full

 When I'm working with my clients I like to really personalize the design based on input from them. This pair of doors for a client in Santa Fe are a perfect example of that collaboration. The client only had a limited idea of what she wanted her doors to look like. She knew that she wanted some carving and that she wanted a tight fit to keep sound from traveling between her home office and the activity in the rest of the house. To keep the sound transfer to a minimum we decided to make the panels a full 1 3/4" thick and make the fit to the floor as small as possible. 

When it came to design the carving we spent a little time looking at and talking about different options. She thought a round, somewhat floral look would be nice. That made her think of a detail that she had seen on a picture that she had of a medallian on a headband. For me this is what custom design is all about. A little detail from a picture, or a clipping from a magazine can become the basis for some of the detailing on a custom piece. 

Read more: Designing a pair of carved doors