Living as we do in current modern society, the consumer is spoilt for choice by the plethora of furniture on offer from all parts of the globe, often available at the click of a button. Much of this is massed produced in countries where wages are competitively low whilst utilising cheap materials. However, the discerning cognoscenti will always appreciate beautifully crated furniture, whether bespoke or not to grace their living space. At Pagoda Wood Furniture, my aim is to make furniture made from solid wood wherever possible but other materials may also be necessary such as veneers and manufactured forms of wood such as MDF or plywood due to technical or other reasons. The use of appropriate materials will always new discussed with clients based on the requirements to achieve the best outcome. The finest materials will always be sourced from trusted suppliers using woods obtained from sustainable forests.
Natural wood comes from trees which are seed bearing plants. They can be classified into hardwoods and softwoods. Hardwoods come from broadleaved trees which can be both deciduous and evergreen and are found throughout the world. They are perennials and continue to grow for at least three years. Examples of hardwood includes European Sycamore, European Beech, European Ash, European Walnut, European Oak, Dutch and English Elm, Wych Elm, Sweet Chestnut, Lime, English Oak, Soft and Hard Maple, Yellow and Paper Birch, Boxwood with many other species available from around the world including exotics such as Teak, Mahogany, Afrormosia, American Black Walnut to name some of the more better known types. Each have their own unique characteristics and by using certain types of wood finishing, their natural beauty can be enhanced to great effect. Hardwoods can be used as building material or for furniture making.
Softwood timber comes from cone bearing trees which are better known as coniferous trees. They are usually found in the northern hemisphere ranging from the Arctic and subarctic of Europe and North America but also stretching down to the southeastern border of the United States. The nature of softwoods varies greatly in its texture and colour. The colours usually alters with time, either becoming lighter or darker but a dramatic change in colour can be achieved depending on the type of finish used. Examples of softwood include Silver and Douglas Fir, Norway and Sitka Spruce, Yellow, Hoop, Parana, Sugar, White and Ponderosa Pines, Yellow and Red Cedar, Cedar of Lebanon, European Redwood, Larch, Yew, Sequoia and Western Hemlock to name some of the commoner known types. Softwoods can also be used as building material or furniture making.
Veneers are thin sheets or slices of wood that are cut from a log and glued to man-made boards or real wood in order to achieve a specific effect. It could be used to achieve a spectacular look when using real timber is either impractical or too costly. Veneered wood can also have other beneficial properties such as offering furniture stability where hard or softwood could shrink or expand causing shape deformity. Top quality veneers are cut from the best timber and can often be used to create stunning large pieces of furniture.
Man-made boards are popular and commonly used as building materials. These include plywood, blockboard, laminboard and fibreboards such as MDF, medium-density fibreboard. They can be used as structural pieces in furniture making or when used with a veneer, it can be made to look like real wood and often at a lower cost.
Glass is a ubiquitous material which can be used in many applications from windows and doors to glassware and furniture making. Consideration can be given to using glass as an integral part of the furniture such as a table top, display cabinet or as an inlay. Due to the versatility of glass, numerous types can be used such as tinted, clear, opaque, rippled, engraved, patterned, gilded, bevelled and other types.
Designing in Wood
At Pagoda Wood Furniture, the design brief from a client is paramount to understanding the requirements needed. Starting from a design concept, it will proceed to a detailed brief with the client and a sketch design. We will outline the furniture type, style, features and materials to be used. Designing in three dimensions will allow for the conceptual look of the object and it may be necessary to construct a prototype or series of prototypes before embarking on the production phase of the build. Once the design brief has been finalised, the costings will be given and work started once a 50% deposit has been paid. The completion date will be within a realistic time frame and final payment will be made on delivery.