Fiddleback Maple Dining Table and Chairs
Table - Fiddleback maple, maple, bubinga 108” x 45” x 30”
Chairs - Maple, patterned upholstery 40” x 18” x 18” 1998
The Fiddleback Maple Table is a commissioned piece designed for a special dining area. An important early design consideration was that the dining space was very open and clearly viewed from adjoining rooms. It was important that the table and chairs relate to those areas without being locked into the surrounding design elements. The table is viewed at nearly eye level when seated in the lower, adjoining living room, making the tables base an important focal point during the design process. The dimensions were arrived at based on the size of the dining space, the number of people the table was meant to seat, and pleasing proportions.
The surface of the table top is highly figured fiddleback maple veneer applied to a 1 1/8” thick core. The veneered panel is softly boat-shaped and is edge-banded with 2 ¼” solid maple, mitered at the corners and beveled.
The solid table base is made from carefully chosen 3” thick planks of very white colored, tight grain maple. Overlapping bridle joints are used to join the legs, feet and upper rails, adding strength and visual interest to the base. The long upper rails that support the top are curved along bottom edges to mimic the curve of the tabletop. The stretcher is a bent lamination, made up of multiple layers of 1/8” thick bubinga (Africa), sawn from a single plank and glued back together over a curved form. The table is finished with pre-catalyzed, semi-gloss lacquer for durability.
The Maple Chairs were designed to accentuate the aesthetics of the table while also being able to visually stand alone. Dimensions slowly emerged through experimentation and input from the clients, based on the level of comfort of a full size chair mock-up. Comfort, strength, and beauty were all given equal importance.
The chairs are joined using traditional mortise and tenons. The vertical backrests are bent laminations that join a low stretcher rather than the back seat rail, lengthening the backrest and increasing the amount of flexibility and comfort. The upholstered seat frames are removable. The chairs are finished with semi-gloss, modified acrylic lacquer.