Archive for Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann

Ruhlmann Dining Table

Posted in Artisanal, Furniture Making, Woodwork with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2012 by johnwiggers

The Ruhlmann Table is one of the oldest pieces in our furniture collection. Although it was designed and first prototyped in 1988, true credit for its inspiration must be given to Art Deco master Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann.


At the time we first made this table we were working with a New York based furniture designer by the name of Ron Seff.

Ron shared our love for Ruhlmann’s classic lines, and he specifically deserves credit for fine tuning the actual shape of the elliptically curved legs.

By no means is this design an attempt to copy anything ever created by Ruhlmann. In fact, any such effort could never amount to anything more than a copy of the original anyway. But given the influence it is only fair that Ruhlmann be acknowledged.

The dining table as shown measures 84″ long x 44″ wide x 29″ overall height. It is crafted from Curly English Sycamore, and inlaid with ebonized line details and medallions. The ebonized ends extend to receive 24″ leaves, making this table ideal for hosting large gatherings.

Custom sizes and shapes, as well as alternative woods and finishes, are readily available.

Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 6) – The Scotch Bar

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2011 by johnwiggers

Yesterday’s post showed the work in progress on the custom desk and credenza being made for JLT’s executive office. Today’s post will feature the Scotch Bar.

The inspiration for the design of this piece has its genesis in the Gentleman’s Valet Stand we displayed at the 2005 Interior Design Show in Toronto. It was here that JLT first saw my work, and I remember him saying how much he liked the idea of making the Valet Stand into a Scotch Bar. I kept that idea in the back of my mind for several years, until it came time to design the furniture for his office.

Since JLT also shares my appreciation for the work of Art Deco furniture maker Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, I also wanted to incorporate a subtle “Ruhlmann” feature into the design. Rather than copy or try to imitate Ruhlmann outright, I sought to create something original that still managed to give a respectful nod to the master.

Hopefully this was achieved by incorporating some faux ivory diamond inlays into the face of the exterior split shells. The image below shows the inlay being fitted into place.

The design of the apron and leg assembly supporting the main cabinet was inspired by the work of the late James Krenov. The flared curved legs were milled from 8/4 solid cherry, while the solid cherry aprons were fitted to the legs with mortise and tenon joinery. A pair of elevated cross ribs between the front and back aprons support the upper cabinet, while creating the illusion that it floats over the base.

Although the apron and legs are shown as natural unfinished cherry, the intent is to darken them during the finishing process with a traditional ebonizing solution of vinegar and iron. The idea is to keep the base as simple and utilitarian as possible, so that the visual focus can remain on the upper cabinet.

The interior of the Scotch Bar will feature LED lighting, a bronze mirror back, glass shelf, granite slab surface, a pull-out tray for serving, plus a utility drawer for utensils and accessories.

Next: Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 7) – The Motorized T.V. Cabinet

Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 1) – Introduction

Posted in Artisanal, Furniture Making, Woodworking with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2011 by johnwiggers

In 2005 we displayed our Gentleman’s Valet Stand in the “Studio North” area of the Interior Design Show in Toronto.


At one point the inlay work on this cabinet caught the attention of a visitor from the United States, and before long he and I were engaged in a lengthy discussion about design and the works of Art Deco masters such as Jules Leleu and Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann.

Given this fellow’s extensive knowledge of furniture design and craftsmanship, I assumed he was either an architect or a designer. It turns out he was neither.

Instead, this fellow turned out to be an entrepreneur who owns a mid sized company located in a major American city. He said he was shopping for ideas on having custom furniture made for his executive office, although he was in no particular rush to have anything done.

In the ensuing years we stayed in touch, until last year when things finally progressed to the point where we were able to move forward with a tangible proposal.

This will be the first post of several that will become a case study of the creative process behind the designing and making of custom furniture for the executive office of our client – who will be referred to from this point forward as JLT.

Next: Custom Furniture for an Executive Office – Case Study (Part 2) – The Initial Site Meeting