Made by John

We were at Plato’s Diner having breakfast on a Sunday, when I sketched a dresser on a napkin. Something simple with clean lines, strong, well made, nothing fancy. A couple of months later, that dresser was in my bedroom.

My sketch didn’t give the dresser an overhang, but John insisted on it so that the entire top could simply lift off like a lid. If we ever had to move it, the weight could be lightened and the pieces would easily fit through doorways. He likes overhangs in general because they give houses and pieces of furniture expression, like eyebrows on a human face. It also functions as protection.

The planks across the front of the drawers were three long pieces, which he cut and placed so the grains lined up. The grooves on which the drawers move are also made of wood and waxed with Ivory soap. Because the dresser is unusually long and its center could cave in over the years, John installed a metal beam that runs diagonally across the bottom, as well as a fifth leg. It’s made of solid maple, chosen for its natural color and its hard surface which takes on a nice polish with wear and age.

My husband is not much of a poet, but when he makes something like this for me, my love for language can take the backseat.

The dresser.

The face.

Maple grains.

Published in: on March 23, 2011 at 4:47 pm  Comments (18)  

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18 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Kudos to John, that is a nice piece of work! Reminds me of the quality of stuff my grandfather used to make in his shop.

    • Thanks, Vince. Do you have any of your grandfather’s pieces?

  2. He is a true artist!! He is so talented!!!

    • He does not think of himself as an “artist,” but he’s glad to hear it coming from you.

  3. I was telling someone earlier today that my dream is to transition into cabinet and furniture building in the next 10-15 years. I hope my creations look half this good. What a beautiful piece of furniture.

    • Bill, I like your plan. You’d be terrific at it. There’s something about making furniture that perfectly combines the artistic instinct with the practical. I love the idea that these finished works of “art”, as much as they’re admired, also get daily use. Thank you, on behalf of John, for the praise.

  4. I love that guy. I have a lot of talented friends. But none of them have the kind of talents that John has.

    • Steve, I read your comment to John. His reply: “Oh, you mean the talents of a maintenance guy?”

      • 1. I thought he might say something like that. It almost made me not post a comment–or write something kind of smart ass instead.
        2. Yes, I don’t have so many friends who fix objects (but if you need some paper moved around or piled up, I’ve got friends who can do that).
        3. Even those that do fix things, they’re not John. Dude does everything. And, look at the product.

    • Next time, I’ll just tell him to shut up and say thank you.

  5. Your John is an “artist”. What a beautiful piece of work! My hubby once told me that he wants to be a carpenter when he grows up.

    • A lot of guys say that; it’s one of those romantic guy ambitions.

  6. Very nice dresser, but I hate to tell you that Joan just bought the same piece from Ethan Allen and was just delivered. Makes me say hmmmmmmm… did anyone actually witness the making of this art piece or did it just show up one day? Hmmmmmmmmm…

    • I believe I now know how to read the mind of Dr. Kim.

  7. he’s a poet, patti.

    • So, a poet does not necessarily use words. It’s more a vision and way of being than a verbal expression. I like that.

      To your comment, Joyce, he replied, “Ok.” I think he concurs.

  8. Its beautiful. Is your husband a carpenter?

    Btw, I loved your book. Googled you and found your blog. Reading every sngle one of them now. Terrific! Hope your next book gets published soon.

    • Ah, you found me. No, hub is not a professional carpenter. Thanks for the good wishes!

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