January 1982 was quite special. Walking down the aisle towards me as a gorgeous brunette who, in a moment of weakness, agreed to marry me. It hasn’t turned out so bad, thirty years and counting.
I decided I wanted to do a commemorative piece for us this year and decided to make a tray. We entertain a bit and use a great tray my father-in-law Ger made us a number of years ago and I thought I would update that design.
Given the high bar set by in honoring a 30th anniversary, I went right for the glory of the French aristrocracy. I have a bunch of sapele – an African mahoghany – left from the Kaidan Dansu project so I started with that. I used the sapele for the four sides, but used sapele veneer on plywood for the bottom. In veneering, you need to veneer both sides to keep the piece stable. I used some ‘plain’ sapele veneer for the bottom, but on the top, I cut some of my sapele into thin strips and created a parquet floor pattern…yes, copied from the wood floors at Versailles. If it was good enough for Louis and Marie, it was good enough for Bobie and Rusty.
We saw these floors when we were at Versailles in 1998 and I remember thinking – that would look great in our living room…and now it does.
I joined the sides with box joints and added two slightly asian feeling handles which I thought lightened the feel a bit. It was finished with a coat of boiled linseed oil and a number of coats of Arm-R-Seal satin.
I don’t love it as much as I love Bobie, but then I don’t love anything as much as I love her.