Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I generally don't get involved with kitchen cabinet production but this project called to me.
A client saw an antique European butchershop work cabinet in a magazine and was struck by its suitability and beauty as an island cabinet for his kitchen. He sent me these pictures of it, cut from a magazine.
The cabinet is nine feet long and four feet wide. The top is a central piece of honed Cararra marble flanked by two pieces of eastern maple butcher block six inches thick.
It is built of eastern ash.
My client wanted to indent one side so that people could sit at it while visiting with the cook. We both wanted it to look totally authentic. I constructed all doors and exterior panels with true mortice and tenon joinery that was pinned together with oak dowels visible in the corners of all doors and side panels.
The hinges are Europeon, each solid brass measuring six inches tall. Each leaf of the hinge is buried in the door frame or the face of the cabinet and secured with one small brass pin.
The cabinet door knob is a modified entry doorknob purchased from a local antique store. Decorative brass medallions decorate the centers of all the panels and are arrayed around the top. Two of them serve to cover the electric outlets.
Furthermore the owner had a cow's head cast in bronze to punctuate the end panels.
One of the many benefits of my work is that I get to meet and collaborate with truly great craftspeople. Bobby Bigger is such a person. He did all of the lathe work creating the pilasters. His work is stunning. He is a national treasure.
Inside the interior is painted yellow ochre which is very traditional. It brightens up the interior and looks terrific.
The drawers are hung on modern undermount full extension hardware by Blume. I hand dovetailed the drawers.
The finish was done by Rosemont Design, another group of great crafts people.
This was such great fun to build.