Christian Burt’s tea cabinet, a celebration of Japanese-inspired design, also proves that design and creativity can evolve during the construction phase.
His stunning cabinet in sycamore and beech was to have stood on long beech legs to bring the cabinet up to eye level for functional use.
But in an inspired change of plan, Christian, from Portland, Oregon, has cut down the legs and, instead, will now build a tall and complementary sycamore table on which the tea cabinet will sit.
Christian’s far-flung woodworking influence is perfectly illustrated in his cabinet’s kumiko limewood front panel, perfectly set off in front of a rice paper back panel.
Kumiko is the delicate and ancient Japanese art of assembling pieces of wood without using nails, and Christian’s specific design, asanoha, is a particularly popular motif still used in architecture, fashion and graphic design.
The asanoha pattern, based on regular hexagons or an aggregate of triangles, is widely used on kimono and baby clothes, and is believed to give health and long life.
Christian came to the Chippendale school on our professional course having originally studied photography, but with no background in woodworking, and his cabinet is a reflection of innate confidence, considerable skill and a real understanding of the design process.
Before creating his tea cabinet table, Christian will first turn his hand to making a long sideboard with brass inlays.