The eye of the collector by Jean-luc Ferrand

WOODS

Friday 18 December 2015, by Barbara Cogollos

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

The wood is the source of most of former furniture: privileged material of the carpentry and the cabinetmaking for its abundance, its resistance, its flexibility which allows him to be shaped under the iron of cutting tools.

Formerly, woodworkers attached a great importance at the time of trees cutting down. Trees were rather cut in January and February, and by the full moon (the effects of the moon on preservation of wood is contested today). Furthermore, once cut into boards, trees must be dried during several years.

Depending on the drawing of veins, the wood is said "curly”, flamed", “birdeye” or "quilt". According to Roubo (L’Art du menuisier, 1769) "woods which are appropriated for the carpentry are : the oak, the chestnut tree, the walnut, the elm, the beech, the fir tree, the basswood and the poplar". Also according to him, marquetry wood are "wood of India, mahoganies of all species, satin wood, cedars, olive tree, bay, wood of Saint Lucia, violetwood, pernambucco and ebony". Islands wood, also called “wood of India” designate all the rose oils, amboine, clairembourg, the ebony of Madagascar, rosewood, sandalwood and violetwood.
In the XIVth century, inlays of mother-of-pearl, ivory, scale, wooden marquetry of diverse essences appear.

Amaranth : exotic wood from Guiana, very hard, and the color reminds vinous red. This wood is very used on cabinetwork.

Violetwood : it is a wood easy to work whether it is in veneer, marquetry or woodturning. It is part of pallisander family. Its colors can vary from purple to resistant brown.

Rosewood : mainly comes from Brazil. Just like the violetwood, it is part of the pallisander family. Its name is rather due to his perfume than to his color.

Walnut : depending on its origin, the walnut can contain marked knots. It gives him a significant ornamental asset. The wood of walnut has a dark tone which still darkens as it gets older.

Mahogany : this wood has been discovered in 1492 by Christopher Columbus when he arrived in Cuba. Its import has begun in the 18th century. Thereafter, comparable woods have been found, but the most beautiful is still the one which comes from its country of origin.

Ebony : dark and tortuous, this wood is rather difficult to work. It comes from Africa.

Macassar ebony : it comes from Indonesian forests. These stripes of clear colors characterize it and differentiate it from the African ebony.

Birch : this wood is light, uniform, hard and resistant. Its color varies from the light yellow to the white. It comes from Scandinavian countries.

Sycamore : such as the birch, the sycamore comes from Scandinavian countries. Just like it, it is part of clear wood family.

Lemon tree : it is a very clear wood which has been discovered in Ceylon. It can also be found close to the Mediterranean Coast.

Cedar : this wood is very appreciated for its incredible burl.

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