Sunday, July 26, 2015

Mission Style Wine Rack

I was commissioned to build a wine rack in a different style than the ones I've made in the past. The woodwork in this house fits into the "Mission" style, and thus the design matched the period, style, and materials of Mission furniture. Details and pictures after the jump.

Clyde's lounging game is on point.

First thing's first; Clyde approves. 

Now that we've established that it works as a cat lounging device (but really, what doesn't?), the next thing is to examine what make's something "Mission" style. Wikipedia helpfully notes that the name and the origin of the style comes from the Mission District of San Francisco in about the late 1800s. It found more common expression in the works of Gustav Stickley (born in Wisconsin, booyah!), specifically in his chairs.
I did not build this; a very old, very famous (amongst woodworkers) and, very dead man named Gustav built this.
Essentially Mission style boils down to this: vertical lines and quartersawn oak.

Side of the wine rack
The sides of Mission style furniture are often comprised of vertical support slats. I did the same on this design.

Ray flecks on the top
Quartersawn oak, this case quartersawn red oak, produce a distinctive ray fleck patterning that is ubiquitous in the style. Essentially the tree is cut into lumber in a way that is less efficient that the most common method, flat sawing, and creates boards that bisect the growth rings in a way that exposes the hard, dense, medullary rays. The more pronounced the rays fleck patterning, the more valuable the board. Mission style furniture commonly incorporates accentuating the ray flecks, and I have tried to as well.

There is room for 28 bottles of wine, which is a good living room quantity. 

Didn't really take them long to fill it up...
The color is stain, and it was a difficult procedure of of trial and error to find stain that matched the existing woodwork in the home. Matching stain is a difficult (fool's) errand. Luckily, the folks over at General Finishes have a ludicrous quantity of colors to blend like a mad scientist (before discovering that two coats of General Finishes Vintage Cherry Dye Stain is the color we wanted all along).

When all was said and done, the finished product was both true to the Mission style inspiration and fit within the space it was designed for nicely. Its recipients (the humans, not the cat) seemed very happy with the result, and that's all that matters. I'd be happy to work with you for something similar, just let me know.

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