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Mondrian Glass Case

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Project by vipond33 posted 283 days ago 7481 views 44 times favorited 51 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A display case, in glass and traditional lead, made in qtrd makore with a Honduras mahogany stand.

I had no plan, just an idea. The problem with that was this – I wouldn’t know till the very end how it would look.

For the record, the joinery is bridle joints on the doors and sidelights with 28 dowels holding the carcase and 30 the base. A few screws and Brusso hinges.
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This was six months in the making, a magnum opus of sorts, but a very difficult build (if only in demanding a constant design sense that I felt quite incapable of as I progressed). This work pushed my design efforts to the limit.

I needed a cabinet with flair to hold and contain the glass, a stand to hold its very own (aided by the power and echoes of Art Deco), and on top of that an interpretation of Mondrian to suit the case’s living purpose without losing sight of what he envisioned.

I am very much indebted to LJ Terry Ferguson for the “dart” detail on the front legs. It does a marvelous job of allowing a lighter looking and yet much more complex view possible even while adding mass and interest at the floor. Both woods are pictured.

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In a eureka moment it also solved the problem of my door handle design


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(always a tough one for me) and so carried it into a powerful motif for the front rail
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as well as into the layout for the sliding trays.

I felt the base did need its presence as the upper case promised to be so commanding.

The upper case was made simple because of the glass, though I patterned matched throughout (as if any one would see) and gave it a Easter going to church hat top. The solid top is waterfall-ed on three sides with a repetition underneath.
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Mondrian sought to create a “pure plastic art” reducing forms and colours to the absolute basics to evoke universal truth. I don’t know about that, I don’t, but I’ve been fascinated by these colours and his ideas for years. I have always loved the look and wanted to pay homage to him some day by wrapping that aesthetic mastery inside a beautiful cabinet.

So I made it, even though I had nothing to put in it, and now that it is gone it doesn’t matter anyway.
You see, shortly after these photos were taken the unit fell face first off a dolly onto the concrete floor. The damage was extreme; it is un-repairable.
I had planned to post an accompanying web log detailing the build but am unable to do so at this time.

Case 30” x 30”
Stand 34” x 11”
About 195 hrs.
Build on LJ’s.
gene
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-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.





51 comments so far

View PASs's profile

PASs

512 posts in 1604 days


#1 posted 283 days ago

Ouch,
Sooo beautiful.
Such is the tenuous nature of all things made by man.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

4972 posts in 1104 days


#2 posted 283 days ago

I have come to expect great things from you, and you don’t disappoint.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

109551 posts in 2083 days


#3 posted 283 days ago

Amazing and so well done I really love this piece.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View SquintyPolock's profile

SquintyPolock

91 posts in 403 days


#4 posted 283 days ago

Well, it was quite lovely. You are an excellent craftsman!

-- It's all in a day's work...

View Tag84's profile

Tag84

568 posts in 1162 days


#5 posted 283 days ago

Wow thats ready to go into a museum.. stunning work!

-- -Thomas -

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

4380 posts in 1348 days


#6 posted 283 days ago

Gene,

This is a masterpiece! Did you commission the leaded glass? There is such great attention to detail. For me this would have been major anger! The soul is obvious! Wow.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View wunderaa's profile

wunderaa

178 posts in 708 days


#7 posted 283 days ago

Wow. That’s simply spectacular.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile

MarkTheFiddler

1505 posts in 694 days


#8 posted 283 days ago

Gene, You have made a jaw dropping treasure. Simply beautiful. You are a Master!

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View Terry Ferguson's profile

Terry Ferguson

202 posts in 1173 days


#9 posted 283 days ago

Beautifully designed and executed – more of your meticulous detail and quality. This piece commands our attention
with bright colors that stand out against a background of clear glass which leads the eye into more subtle details on the base, powerful in their own right. Unique sliding trays,handsome wood color – Extremely well done.

-- Terry Ferguson, Bend Oregon

View aussiedave's profile

aussiedave

2801 posts in 330 days


#10 posted 283 days ago

Wow! that is amazing, excellent work and craftsmanship….the cabinet and stand are really good and the glass work just ads to the over all awesome look…well done.

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View Jeremiah's profile

Jeremiah

73 posts in 830 days


#11 posted 283 days ago

wow, great work. the detail work is not only flawless, its inventive.

Good on you.
JD

View mnpete's profile

mnpete

221 posts in 1163 days


#12 posted 282 days ago

Just fantastic…all around! I would buy a piece like that!

-- Follow my woodworking adventures in The Second Wind Workshop, http://secondwindworkshop.blogspot.com/

View mbfunke's profile

mbfunke

56 posts in 1165 days


#13 posted 282 days ago

Like a monk painting in sand. Truly beautiful.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Mike Funke

View albachippie's profile

albachippie

532 posts in 1541 days


#14 posted 282 days ago

WOW! That is a most beautiful piece Gene. Every detail is a masterpiece in it’s own right. I know it’s already been asked, but, did you do the lead work yourself or comission it?

Great work, you have surpassed even yourself,

Garry

-- Garry fae Bonnie Scotland - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Garry-Macdonald-Woodwork/425518554215355?ref=hl

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

12518 posts in 2489 days


#15 posted 282 days ago

whoa ho ho … nice, really nice. One of my favorites !

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

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