A Collective Effort
Last year, we changed our name from Collective to Chairmakers to make it a bit clearer what we do. While collective is no longer our namesake, collaboration continues to help us meet our clients’ furniture needs. A current example is particularly interesting. When a local client needed a large table in the Queen Anne style (not at all our forte), Brian’s brother Boyd put his skilled hands to the task.
The table’s style hails from an earlier era, but now as then, the design challenges demand a combination of skills from a whole team of the day’s best artisans. That array of skills includes not only building a 12′ long, 5′ wide extension table, but also fine turning for the posts and hand carving for the ball and claw feet. Knowing this, Boyd put his own collaboration of artists together in Charleston SC so that each challenge could be met with the best hands for the task.
Carving: Mary May
Boyd brought nationally recognized carver Mary May in for the carving. Mary has been carving traditional motifs for decades and her gift for the art of carving has been recognized nationally as she teaches in schools across the country. After more than 20 years in her craft, Mary’s current focus is on carvings for custom furniture, fireplaces, sculptures, and antique furniture reproductions. She has studied under master carvers from around the world.
Turning: Ashley Harwood
The turning required another set of practiced hands for this specialized task. For that Boyd brought in Ashley Harwood, a woodturner and installation artist who designs and crafts exquisitely turned, beautifully crafted bowls, as well as jewelry and ornaments made with sea urchins and delicate spindles of ebony.
Design and Build: Boyd Boggs
Boyd Boggs himself played the roles of designer and builder. The table base, structure, and expansion mechanism were designed and built by Boyd, who also constructed the top and did the veneer work. As a furniture designer, Boyd creates custom furniture, sculpture, lighting and architectural components that pair form and function with innovative artistry. Each one-of-a-kind or limited edition piece showcases the inherent beauty of natural elements, capturing unique variations in color and characteristics that enhance the design.
Here, Boyd is checking the flatness of the table top. The boards are not yet veneered and are only temporarily mounted on the mechanism which is hidden underneath. He is tuning the action of all the parts to make sure that the table is good and flat when closed and when fully extended.
With wooden table glides, a certain amount of rise is required to compensate for the table’s tendency to droop as it opens. Balancing the ease of opening and the rigidity of the table in all positions is a challenge. Wood movement and wear are also taken into consideration. Here, Boyd is checking out the mechanism’s crown.
And here are photos of the finished table!