Modern Shelf Unit in Sapele & Glass

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Project by Eric M. Saperstein posted 10-10-2011 07:19 AM 3098 views 14 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So this project is really way off from what we normally do – period furniture, woodcarving, sculpture, etc. If you read our newsletters (check my blogs) you’d see that Artisans of the Valley has expanded out a bit into doing more modern pieces.

This expansion is not my fault – it’s all a result of Michael Pietras returning from the Cayman Islands, now back in the US he and I have partnered to exchange resources. Suddenly I’m finding myself working on these strange new modern concepts.

This is a floating shield unit (three sections) made of quarter sawn sapele with floating glass shelves. Meaning the shelves are not secured, you can swap them around from one grove to another anywhere on the piece and by their own weight they hold themselves in place.

It came out exactly as our client ordered, and as simplistic as it is in appearance the attention to detail to get it configured “random” while still maintaining a balanced look and how the shelves are interchangeable wasn’t as easy as it looks.

Keep an eye out there are more modern pieces pending soon!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

5 comments so far

View Sodabowski's profile


2373 posts in 2798 days

#1 posted 10-10-2011 10:18 AM

Very nice!

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3429 days

#2 posted 10-10-2011 02:02 PM

awesome, love the mixed media. the design reminds me very much of one of mine that I copied from someone else who got the idea from matt downer. although those are all wood only.

anyway, i like the complementary pieces very much. the motif is really flexible – moreso with glass, since it reveals the underlying structure: that coffee table is glorious! :-)

View bob62's profile


160 posts in 2583 days

#3 posted 10-11-2011 12:43 AM

Creative Look!

-- Robert, Mississippi,

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 3213 days

#4 posted 10-11-2011 05:09 AM

The table in the room is Jeff Greene – our client is a friend of mine, she got the inspiration for the shelf from the table. My partner (Mike Pietras) does the blending of the modern designs and developed his tricks for the free floating shelves.

It has become a bit of a design concept battle between – I honestly wouldn’t have personally done this modern design, but Mike will. I’m dragging him into restoration work and period reproductions – more of the distressed antique look … he’s pulling me into this perfectly smooth finished glass shelved modern world.

I do find it fascinating though that the shelves can be swapped … functional artwork!

I like the tiger maple in your links Aaron!

Thanks for the comments!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

View Ken90712's profile


17553 posts in 3154 days

#5 posted 10-11-2011 01:32 PM

Nice work. I like the simple design of it.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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