Adventures in Shelving

I am proud to say that today I completed my first commission. It feels amazing to produce a product for another person; I have been fiddling around in my studio alone for far too long.

A friend needed some kitchen shelving to display her collection of beautiful pottery. I wanted to create something which fitted her home’s aesthetic, without drawing attention away from the objects being placed on the shelves.

This is where the shelves where born.

I recently acquired some hardwood off cuts, and following the Wah Works philosophy of making something from nothing, I undertook an adventure in laminating.

I decided to use biscuit joints, and wanted the biscuits to be visible, increasing the detailing on the front of each shelf. To do this I created a regular biscuit joint in the centre of each join for strength, then cut half on the edges of each, placing the biscuit half way into the wood.

After this was done I glued and clamped them overnight, used a hacksaw to cut off the excess, then got to sanding.

My absolute favourite thing is to finish a nice piece of wood with Tung Oil. It protects and darkens slightly, but still maintains the beautiful feel of the wood.

Installation was a challenge, contending with plaster covered brick walls. I decided to use a self tapping masonry screw, which involves a simple process of drilling and screwing, and requires only a little time. Unfortunately, the bricks in the 1960s flat were not all the same density, and for one of the shelves I needed to use plugs. To address the lack of consistency, I made sure to use the same masonry screws for the plugs, creating uniformity across all three shelves.

The process of creating something beautiful for another person has made me feel all the feelings. There is pleasure in creating for, and working with a client, there is satisfaction in the work’s completion. Then there is loss in letting it go. I am now in love with this process - I don’t think it gets any better than this.

With everything in place, and the brick dust vacuumed up, all that was left to do was say goodbye to the shelves, and to the lovely lady who commission them.