Here’s the Story : The Game Table

A conversation piece. An artistic statement. There is a game table lurking underneath the scorpion sentinels.

“This game table originated from a table I designed many years ago and also from a similar table by Silas Kopf. It is simultaneously an artistic decorative piece and also a center for fun social activity. The panel top is drawn in two point perspective, creating an illusion of three dimensions. The scorpions, dueling over the queen, add a touch of whimsy. The top can be removed with the help of a hidden button accessed through the drawer. Now you have a game surface for chess, checkers, and backgammon.

“Several ideas for this piece resulted from collaboration with friends. I particularly enjoy working in that way, searching to find those illusive ideas which can bring about the best result. The flip top idea was stimulated by a collaboration with a friend about a yacht table. The dueling scorpions came from a marquetry guild friend.

“The primary wood for the table is walnut, with some cherry used in the top. The decorative trim around the edge is called “tarsia a toppo,” a handmade geometric edge banding comprised of cherry and maple squares separated by a dark veneer. Other veneers include cherry, walnut, maple, walnut burl and sapele pommelle. The table recently won “Best in Show” for craft at the Red Rocks Community College.”


Marquetry Versus Inlay

The terms of inlay and marquetry are frequently confused or misunderstood. Inlay is a process in which a recess is cut into a surface and the cavity is filled and finished flush to the surface. Expensive guitars are frequently decorated with elaborate inlay using mother of pearl and precious metals. Marquetry is a different process in which thin veneers of wood and sometimes metal are cut and fitted together to form an assembled sheet. This sheet, like a jigsaw puzzle, is then applied over another surface for decoration. The best furniture of 17th and 18th century was often decorated with elaborate and complex marquetry

Today, marquetry is experiencing a modest resurrection within the field of craft art and also furniture design. A tremendous volume of technical information is being published and made available to modern hobbyists and professionals alike. Likewise, curricula in modern furniture design schools now feature marquetry as an important additional subject.

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