Most pieces of furniture have one obvious and entirely functional purpose to perform, so it’s always good to see a piece of furniture that doesn’t quite know what it is.
Because if you fold up Roderick Groenewegen’s games table, made from mahogany with alder and American walnut veneers, it’s a stylish and beautiful console table with a starbust central design.
But open it out and you have a games table complete with inlaid chess and backgammon boards, and with two recessed compartments for games pieces.
Roderick, from Amerongen in the Netherlands, came to the school following a 30-year career with a major Dutch banking and financial services corporation headquartered in Amsterdam.
Unlike many of our students, he was already a skilled woodworker who had been on several woodworking courses, and worked on commissions for a number of clients.
For example, he created a showcase, commissioned by the 17th century Castle of Amerongen, for the exhibition of a 300-year-old death mask that is part of the castle’s collection.
The pieces he’s made at the school have been equally impressive, including a small oak and American walnut cabinet to store a family dining service.
The cabinet has beautifully-made tambour doors, a complex inlay and is lined inside with dark green felt. Roderick, thinking ahead, wanted the cabinet to have tambour doors because, although a challenge, future clients may want him to work on tambour restoration projects.
After graduation, Roderick’s plan is to set up his own business in Amerongen, called ‘De Houtheer’.