This bed-frame design illustrates one of the central ideas of my
work: I integrate construction with the intrinsic beauty of the
wood to build simple and elegant furniture.
The bed was built
using exposed joinery to emphasize its construction. I selected
each piece of lumber for its unique color and figure, giving
careful consideration to its location in the bed frame.
I utilized a traditional Japanese architectural woodworking joint,
called a sage-kama
to connect the side rails to the
posts of the bed. The sage-kama has been used for hundreds of years
to stabilize structures and help them resist racking,to the diagonal bracing more common in western construction. The joint
is a through half-dovetail locked in place with a separate wedge.
It can be dismantled by tapping out the wedge and slipping the tenon
out of the mortise, which enables the two side rails of the bed to be
removed from the headboard and the footboard.
The customer selected narra wood for the bed frame because of its
rich, vibrant color tones. To emphasize the joinery details, I used
gaboon ebony for the pegs and wedges. I bookmatched the headboard and
the footboard to give them a symmetry of wood figure and color tones.
I also matched the posts and the rails by milling them out of the same
planks. And finally, I cut a gentle curve in each piece to lighten the
bed's design visually. I hope the simplicity of the design helps focus
attention on the unique woods and the craft of the integrated joinery