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Curly Maple Lotus Credenza
I received an email inquiry regarding a selection of furniture for a home in Montana. The client was taken by our interest in the Art Nouveau style and also by our craftsmanship, and had long envisioned some original designs that would combine the sinuous lines of art nouveau with Buddhist elements reflecting her spiritual commitment. She lived in a remote area of the American West, and wondered if we could build and deliver furniture to her location.
We drove west with Pete, our walker hound as mascot, taking on bear and chipmunk alike in isolated Yellowstone and North Dakota campsites. We measured the client's glacier-ringed home, sketched out some ideas, and discussed the Buddhist iconography that would be part of the overall design concept. We presented her with finished drawings a month later, and agreed to a Leed's certified construction method using non-toxic woods, glues and finishes throughout.
The seven pieces of furniture ordered in this suite took almost a year to carve out of solid curly maple, a very white and dense wood. The design motifs include a number of carved lotus flowers and swirling water forms, as well as Sanskrit text, Tibetan bells and dorjes, and powerful garudas.
When finished, we rented a moving van and drove back across the country through blinding spring snows with Pete in tow once more. The heavy furniture pieces were carried up the winding narrow staircase with the help of another North Bennett Street graduate who lived in Montana. We finished with a celebratory tea ceremony, using honey harvested on the property.