Ming Inspiration: Studio Photos

I finally received the photos of the Ming-inspired dining table today. It’s amazing what some good lighting, quality photographic equipment and general photographic savviness can do!

Looking through all the photos of the build, which stretch into the hundreds, I go back to where it all started, with this classic, yet unassuming Ming side table of huanghuali, maker unknown:

This simple looking corner-leg table, which appears to be no more than a slab of wood upon a frame and four legs, hides an ingenious framing system:

Many hours of design work later, in close consultation with the client who was delighted to be involved, I produced the plan for a dining table to seat eight:

Design was done over the course of a couple of weeks, though many details were refined through the learning that is part and parcel of the build process. If you’re new to the blog and want to go back to the starting post, click >> here <<.

The whole project really started to come together when the planks of bubinga arrived:

This was the most expensive slab of wood I had ever acquired for a project, and that added some extra oomph to the mental stress of the cutting and joining phases of the job.

Four months later, the table was complete, and I know many readers have enjoyed following along with all 50 posts comprising the design and build process. I very much appreciated the supportive and kind comments along the way.

So, without further ado…(these are somewhat larger files than I normally load up for the blog – if you click on the pictures they will become larger)…

The big picture:

End View:

Zooming in on a corner:

A look down the side:

The underside:

I believe a piece of furniture should look good from any angle.

A closer look at the point where the central rail meets the short apron:

A view of where the Giant’s arm braces, banwancheng, come together, tied with the hiyodori-sen:

I took the original maker’s brilliant framing methods and enhanced them with some specialized Japanese joinery methods, both in the photo above and in the way the frame’s aprons were connected to one another.

Another view:

And, lastly, the maker’s mark in Holly and Gabon Ebony:

I hope that if the maker of the Ming original could see my table he would feel pleased to see how I piggybacked on some on his ideas. I wish I could have met him, but his work spoke volumes about his philosophy as a maker, and I was glad to live in a time and place in history where I could learn of his genius and take inspiration from it.

Thanks for coming by the Carpentry Way today.

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