Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Custom Furniture Sample Sale – Cocktail Tables

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2012 by johnwiggers

The Levee Cocktail Table is one of the very first furniture pieces designed by Kevin, and several examples in different wood finishes are available during our sample sale.

This Levee Table above is crafted from a wood called Black Bean and measures 54″ long x 21″ deep x 16-1/2″ high. Different sizes and shapes are available for the glass top, which rests on satin stainless steel offsets. The plinth is satin black. Numbered 2010-#001 this table has a List price of $3,295.00.

This Levee Table above is crafted from a wood called Bleached Zebrawood and measures 54″ long x 21″ deep x 16-1/4″ high. Different sizes and shapes are available for the glass top, which rests on satin stainless steel offsets. The plinth is satin black. Numbered 2010-#009 this table has a List price of $3,295.00.

This Levee Table above is crafted from natural Zebrawood and measures 54″ long x 21″ deep x 16-1/4″ high. Different sizes and shapes are available for the glass top, which rests on satin stainless steel offsets. The plinth is satin black. Numbered 2010-#010 this table has a List price of $3,295.00.

This Levee Table above is crafted from Figured Mahogany and measures 54″ long x 21″ deep x 16-1/4″ high. Different sizes and shapes are available for the glass top, which rests on satin stainless steel offsets. The plinth is satin black. Numbered 2010-#003 this table has a List price of $3,295.00.

This Levee Table above is crafted from a wood called East Indian Laurel and measures 54″ long x 21″ deep x 16-1/4″ high. Different sizes and shapes are available for the glass top, which rests on satin stainless steel offsets. The plinth is satin black. Numbered 2010-#005 this table has a List price of $3,295.00.

This Levee Table above is crafted from a wood called Etimoe and measures 54″ long x 21″ deep x 16-1/4″ high. Different sizes and shapes are available for the glass top, which rests on satin stainless steel offsets. The plinth is satin black. Numbered 2010-#004 this table has a List price of $3,295.00.

In tandem with designing the Levee Cocktail Table shown above Kevin also created the Channel Cocktail Table in 2009.

The Channel Cocktail Table measures 54″ long x 21″ wide x 16″ overall height. The main body of the table is crafted from a rare sampling of quartered English Oak veneer, which was sourced from my core stash of vintage woods.

The tempered glass top was set on offsets of satin stainless steel which were meticulously inlaid into the concave curve of the pedestal top.

This table was originally showcased at the Studio North exhibition during the 2010 Interior Design Show (IDS10), which was also the first exhibition of Kevin‘s work.

It is numbered 2009-#002 and has a List price of $4,175.00.

The Portage Cocktail Table is the third of three custom cocktail tables that Kevin designed in the summer of 2009. This particular piece ended up as a variation of the Channel Cocktail Table design, plus it included the added feature of a drawer for storage.

Measuring 54″ long x 21″ wide x 16″ oah this Portage Cocktail Table is crafted from a rare sampling of East Indian Laurel, which was sourced from my core stash of rare and vintage woods. The main body was set on a satin black lacquer plinth, with stainless steel offsets carefully inlaid into the top of the pedestal to support a tempered glass top.

Inset into the side of the table is a drawer for storage, with the drawer box itself being crafted out of dovetailed solid maple.

This Portage Cocktail Table is numbered 2009-#003, and is currently on display at the Industrial Storm showroom in Toronto.

List price is $4,875.00.

In 2005 a conversation with furniture designer Jill Salisbury inspired me to look deeper into the idea of incorporating Biomimicry to some of my furniture designs.

What is Biomimicry?

Biomimicry is the examination of Nature, its models, systems, processes, and elements to emulate or take inspiration from in order to solve human problems. The term biomimicry and biomimetics come from the Greek words bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate.

Before long I came up with the idea of making a cocktail table comprised of the 6-sided hexagonal walls of a common honeycomb. Several years later this exercise resulted in a working prototype that became known as the Honeycomb Cocktail Table. The example shown here is the original table crafted out of Chestnut Ribbon Sapele.

Measuring 45″ x 45″ x 16″ overall height this table is comprised of 7 individual hexagonal modules, with the center unit being solid and the 6 surrounding ones each having 4 closed sides and 2 open ones, with a single adjustable shelf suspended inside each.

This Honeycomb Cocktail Table has a List price of $3950.00

Landis Coffee Table 44`x 21`x 16-3/4` high in Bleached Zebrawood.

Landis Coffee Table 44`x 21`x 16-3/4` high in East Indian Laurel.

Landis Coffee Table 44`x 21`x 16-3/4` high in Bamboo.

Landis Coffee Table 44`x 21`x 16-3/4` high in Louro Preto.

Landis Coffee Table 44`x 21`x 16-3/4` high in Macassar Ebony.

Measuring 44″ long x 21″ wide x 16-3/4″ high these Landis Coffee Tables features an elliptical oval top with a deep undercut bevel running completely around the perimeter of the edge.

The stainless steel legs are able to be removed for shipping, and this design can easily be customized into different sizes and shapes.

Crafted from FSC certified wood, non-UF glue and low-VOC waterbased finish this design has been described by Johanna Spilman of Johanna Spilman Inc. in San Francisco as “an excellent representation of modern 50’s design with a 21st Century twist.”

These Landis Tables each have a List price of $1125.00.

Special discounts are available during our sample sale.

Happy Birthday, Wiggers Custom Furniture Ltd.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 13, 2012 by johnwiggers

Wiggers Custom Furniture Ltd. turns 45-years-old today.

The company was founded on January 13, 1967 by my parents Ann and Johan Wiggers. Just like today that day also happened to be a Friday the 13th.

Although some consider Friday the 13th to be unlucky, I guess it doesn’t work that way for everyone.

When I was very small I spent a great deal of time playing on my father’s workbench, while he was still working out of the basement of his home.

The first actual workshop wasn’t built until 1968. (Notice the Ford Econoline van parked on the side. Years later that was the first vehicle I learned to drive, complete with standard transmission and three-on-the-tree.)


This is the shop today. It is now approx. 12,000 sq. ft. in size, but still has a number of original tools and machines being used each day.

Although he’s now retired my father keeps himself active which, in turn, keeps him young.

This coming year will also mark my 31st year as a full time furniture maker, and I am amazed at how quickly the time has flown. (I know that it’s a cliche to say that, but it’s true).

My son Kevin is now working with me as well.

Although he’s only 21-years-old he’s already far more skilled and experienced than I was at the same age. What parent wouldn’t be happy to admit that?

It’s great having my father around to teach Kevin things like wood turning and marquetry. Kevin is patient and shows great respect listening to his grandfather.

As an interesting historical footnote it was also 45 years ago today that Time Magazine published the following cover:

Times have certainly changed, because in recent years China has transformed from being an agrarian Communist society into what is now a manufacturing juggernaut – becoming so wealthy in the process that it is now the holder of millions of jobs and trillions of dollars formerly earned in the West.

This certainly wasn’t the playing field that confronted my father and grandfather during their respective eras. Then again, they had Great Depressions and World Wars to deal with. Regardless, I remain hopeful that we as a small business can continue to find ways to navigate forward during these uncertain times.

In the meantime Happy Birthday, Wiggers Custom Furniture Ltd. !

Custom Furniture Sample Sale – Kidney Shaped Desk

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2012 by johnwiggers

This Kidney Shaped Desk measures 75″ long x 35″ wide x 29″ high.

It has been crafted from FSC certified Ebony which has been hand cut to create a radiating pattern around an FSC certified plywood core.

The glue used to apply the Ebony is non-UF (urea formaldehyde), and the finish is low-VOC polyurethane.

The inset top has a subtle bevel edge, and is clad in black Tuscany leather.

The plinth feet are satin stainless steel.

A total of 3 drawers have been built into the apron, with each one being made from solid Cherry and fitted using sliding dovetail joinery.

In addition to using FSC certified woods to build the main body of the desk, several lesser known species of wood have also been incorporated into the design to communicate a more comprehensive story about sustainable wood use.

In the very centre of the pencil drawer a small compartment has been carved into a block of rare wood known as Hawthorn. Hawthorn is a traditional healing wood that has been used in holistic healing practices for a considerable period of time. It was well known to the ancient Greek herbalists, and records indicate that it has been used in Ayurvedic medicine dating back almost 5,000 years.

Hawthorn is considered an aroma-therapeutic healing wood since it produces an aerosol of complex compounds – all of which are medicinal. The primary benefit of the aroma-therapeutic properties of the Hawthorn is to help alleviate stress and strengthen the heart.

On either side of the Hawthorn compartment is a pair of pencil trays made of a wood called Sassafras. Sassafras carries within it oil based complex of compounds that are naturally saturated within the wood itself – both as a wax and as oil. Through handling and the bumping action of contents against the fibers of this wood, the oils contained within this wood are released as an aerosol each time the drawer is opened.

This aerosol is considered to be a tonic to the human body, since it helps to promote an overall feeling of well-being. This state increases the ability of the deep centers of the brain to promote increased and clearer thinking.

The oil of the Sassafras is related to Myrrh, one of the legendary woods of the ancient world. Sassafras is also the wood used for spiritual cleansing by many tribes of North American Indians, in their traditional sweat lodge ceremony.

On the underside of the drawer fronts are inlaid finger pulls that have been crafted from wood that comes from the Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) family of trees. Native American medicine women discovered through many generations of trial, error and observation that this wood has medicinal properties that are useful in the prevention and treatment of disease. It is believed that simply touching this wood will release the active molecules to the surface of one’s skin, where they can be naturally absorbed into the pores.

In recent years a scientific basis has been discovered that supports this traditional wisdom, and the active molecules (known scientifically as ellagitannins) are currently at the leading edge of research into finding a cure for cancer.

Please note that the inclusion of traditional holistic woods such as Hawthorn, Sassafras and Black Walnut into the design of this desk does not promise any particular holistic or therapeutic benefit to the user. This information has been shared to give others a broader understanding and appreciation for trees, by helping to see them as being more than mere sources of raw material.

Additional information on the Kidney Shaped Desk, and the story behind its creation, can be found at the following link. This link also gives background information on a botanist and scientist by the name of Diana Beresford-Kroeger, who played an instrumental role in providing the information for the holistic woods used on this desk.

This Kidney Shaped Desk was most recently on display at The Guild Shop in Toronto, where it was part of the “My Grain” Exhibition, which ran during July and August, 2011.

List price on this custom version of the Kidney Shaped Desk is $15,060.00.

Special discounts are available during our Sample Sale.

Custom Furniture Sample Sale – Ovale Jewelry Chest

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 12, 2012 by johnwiggers

Depending on whether you’re American, British or Canadian the correct spelling of the following chest can be either Jewelry, Jewellry or Jewellery. That aside, the fact remains that every so often I’ll receive an inquiry to make a hand crafted Jewelry Chest. Usually this is intended as a gift for a special occasion such as a birthday, wedding anniversary, or Valentine’s Day.

Invariably the lead time to design and make one of these is less than a few weeks time, which means that it becomes near impossible to hand craft something exquisite in time to meet a deadline. That being said, I usually have to turn down these commissions due to the impossibly of doing high quality work in a short timeframe.

To remedy this I decided to build a custom Jewelry Chest on spec, so that I could have something readily available for the next time an inquiry like this came along.

The Ovale Jewelry Chest shown here measures 24-3/16″ wide x 18-3/8″ deep x 30-7/8″ high. Crafted from a rare sampling of Macassar Ebony the exterior shell of this cabinet has been vacuum formed into a elliptical oval shape.

The top has been seamlessly fitted to the interior and exterior contours of the elliptical oval shell, with the sculpted back apron cascading gracefully until it disappears into the horizontal plane of the top.

Note the subtle detail of how the grain pattern of the doors aligns perfectly with the grain of the top apron.

The doors on the front of the chest are secured with ball catches and a fully mortised privacy lock.

Five generous drawers are located inside the chest, with each gliding effortlessly on concealed ball bearing slides.

The two top drawers are each fitted with two layers of removable trays. Each tray has compartments for organizing miscellaneous items of jewelry.

The bottom of each drawer is lined with alligator embossed black leather, which was specially made by Spinneybeck .

The removable trays have been hand crafted from solid maple, and are felt lined on the underside.

Provision has been made for an engraved plate to be inlaid on the inside of the chest, which can be personalized with a special message.

List price on the Ovale Jewelry Chest is $13,000.00.

Special discounts are available during our Sample Sale.

Custom Furniture Sample Sale – Gentleman’s Valet Stand

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2012 by johnwiggers

In 2003 I was invited by The Guild Shop in Toronto to participate in their “Turning Traditions” exhibition. Wanting to build something new for this event I designed a custom valet stand specifically to meet the needs of today’s man.

This Gentleman’s Valet Stand measures 25″ wide x 25″ deep x 52-3/4″ high in the closed position. When the split shell opens the dimensions increase to 39″ wide x 26-3/4″ deep.

The exterior is crafted from a rare sampling of Curly Birds Eye Maple, which has been an integral part of my core stash of for many years. A purfling of Mahogany and Ebony is interwoven as inlay on all 4 sides, plus top.

The exterior finish is high gloss polyester.

The cabinet interior is crafted from quarter cut Makore, with 7 drawers stacked over a pair of lower doors.

The upper drawer is fitted with compartments for wrist watches, cuff links, billfolds and fountain pens.

The image inlaid into the top of the chest is that of a turtle, and its form was inspired by an ancient aboriginal rock glyph.

Turtles are symbolic of patience and protection.

List price for the Gentleman’s Valet Stand is $14,750.00

Special discounts are available during our Sample Sale.

Custom Furniture Sample Sale – Digitaria / Blue Star Credenza

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2012 by johnwiggers

The Digitaria/Blue Star Credenza is a one-of-a-kind that began as an experiment to create a piece of furniture comprised almost exclusively of multi-dimensional surfaces and compound angles.

Measuring 72″ long x 22-1/2″ deep x 34-5/8″ high the exterior is crafted from FSC certified maple ply that has been finished satin black. The angular plinth base is sculpted from polished stainless steel.

The inset top is bevelled Black Glass.

The natural maple interior has adjustable shelves behind each of the end drawers, plus 4 solid maple dovetailed drawers behind the center door. The drawers each run on self closing Blumotion linear ball bearing slides which are activated by a pneumatic touch mechanism. In other words a slight touch is all it takes for each drawer to project open.

Inlays of Padauk and Amboyna in the finished back show the star Sirius and constellation Orion rising over a raised silhouette representing the Great Pyramids at Giza.

Given the extreme complexity involved in making this piece it will not be repeated again.

The List price of $22,915.00 includes custom crate for shipping.

Special discounts during our Sample Sale are available.

Custom Furniture Sample Sale – Ellipse II Tables

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2012 by johnwiggers

This Ellipse II Table is without doubt one of our best selling designs. Measuring 84″ long x 42″ wide x 29″ high this table is crafted from a rare sampling of Nero Chaquiro, which comes from an FSC certified forest in Brazil. The top has a custom diamond matched grain pattern, and the finish is high gloss.

List price on this Ellipse II Table is $12,540.00.

An additional version of this table is also available for sale, in a different size and finish. In this case the table measures 90″ long x 44″ wide x 29″ ” high. The top has been made as a sunburst grain pattern, with both top and base finished in an Expresso mahogany satin open grain finish.

List price of this latter table is $10,995.00.

Finally we have a one-of-a-kind prototype version of the Ellipse II Table, which was customized as a Cocktail Table. Measuring 58-1/4″ long x 36″ wide x 16″ high this table has a diamond matched Chestnut Anigre top finished high gloss, and a tapered elliptical cone base that is wrapped in black Tuscany leather.

List price of this custom Ellipse II Cocktail Table is $4835.00.

Please call for special pricing during our Sample Sale