18 March 2012


Here's an odd looking thing and I bet you're wondering what on earth it is?  To put you out of your angst, this is a mock-up of one side of a new cabinet that I'll be starting soon and it has one or two features that I've not incorporated into anything in the past, namely the corner stiles that are set at 45deg to the main rectangular sections.

It's going to cause all sorts of problems, particularly at door hanging time, but it should make for an interesting piece.  I can also hear you chundering to yourself about what it's for?

That's an interesting question, because the answer is quite lengthy.  Some years ago we had a long weekend trip to Venice and during the course of our long and varied wanderings in the city we happened on a Venetian carnival mask shop called Tragicomica, which was filled with the most fantastical creations in papier mache.  We spent around an hour in there and kept on coming back over the course of the weekend, wondering how we could take a couple of these extremely fragile masks back on the aircraft to the UK.

Of course, the short answer was...we couldn't.  Roll on ten years and Gareth also paid a visit Venice and  the shop just before Christmas and achieved what we hadn't been able to, so as a consequence we had a couple of beautiful, ornate, gold-leaf encrusted Venetian carnival masks which duly went under the tree.

To say that he was wetting himself when he wrapped them up, or indeed when we were opening them on Christmas morning is something of a distinct understatement.

So, the masks are beautiful and perfect and deserving of a cabinet to show them off.  As befits the contents, there's only one timber to make it out of...English Walnut, which is just about as perfect a timber as any woodworker could possibly hope to use.

Fortunately, I now have a few boards in stock, so the material for the frames has been sawn and is now quietly doing it's own thing in a corner of the workshop, ready for later on in the summer.

However, we have three weeks in Japan first of all...

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