© 2011 syd

Sunburst Table Clock

My parents live in Japan and I don’t get to visit them often. So when I finally got the chance to visit them in December, I decided to make them a little something for them. My design limitations started with travel. I needed something small and durable to withstand the flight from Austin to Japan. I finally decided on making a table clock with a sunburst veneer pattern.

Sunburst is the type of veneering effect you get from having a center point and having the grain radiate out from that point. If you can imagine a pizza with slices cut equally and meeting in the center, then that’s sunburst. But a centered sunburst would have made this design unbalanced though it sounds contradictory. How can something centered be unbalanced? I can’t explain why, but it’s the same principal as in photography when you don’t want your subjects dead center. So, I decided to move the center point slightly off center. For the veneer, I chose straight grained white oak veneer so the vertical lines emphasize the sunburst effect, drawing the eye to the focal point, which is the clock.

Since the clock is circular, I needed to create a stand so the clock doesn’t roll of the table. To me, the base of any project is one of the most crucial parts of any design. The base grounds the piece and also gives the furniture character because we associate the feet or legs with that of humans and animals. I wanted the base as simple as possible to keep the focus on the clock so I laminated a few pieces of thick walnut veneer at the same diameter as the clock and added thin tapered cone legs. And for the finishing touch, french polish and wax. Mmmm.

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