For my project, I’m making an ornamented nightstand using traditional joinery. I find myself in an interesting position because I’m already a good way into my project. I’ve designed my nightstand, cut out most of the pieces, and am now midway through assembly. All of that is to say it’s a bit late to make design modifications.
What I have not yet designed or made is the ornamentation. I did create a preliminary design a while back when I was researching ornamentation. I originally thought I might use it for the nightstand, but the more ornamentation I do, the more options I realize there are and the more I want to branch out to explore them.
The initial design
My new plan is to spend Spring break working on ideas and then hone them into a final product when I return. That way, I can really hone in on the style I’m looking for. I’ve drawn on Central European ornamentation but along the way I’ve added my own twist. At the moment I would say my ornamentation has something of a dark fairy tale aesthetic. I’d also like to play with geometric underlays, which I did for one ornamentation piece already. I really like the subtle presence of the shapes. They guide the viewer’s eye through the piece without necessarily being visible themselves.
Some of my practice ornamentation work. The pattern on the right features geometric underlays.
That got me thinking about how I could flip the idea on its head. Instead of using them as underlays I could put the shapes front and center. The following sketch features shapes as the only decoration.
The design kind of reminds me of stained glass or mosaic tile work. Despite looking very different, the composition of the piece actually bears some resemblance to the original, with detail concentrated in an inner and outer region. And much like the original, it features vibrant colors. I think this sort of decorative stye could make for an interesting piece of furniture, but it’s not exactly what I’m going for. In the end, I’d still like to go with my current aesthetic, but in a way that aesthetic is still forming. My hope is that some of these alternate designs may inspire ideas that work their way into the final piece.