DECORATIVE VENEERS – HISTORY AND TECHNIQUES:
Theodore Alexander employs age-old techniques to create traditional and transitional furniture. One of the most technically challenging methods of embellishing furniture is to use veneers.
Veneer refers to thinly sliced woods that are applied to a thicker core, replacing the need to use solid woods. They can be achieved by slicing logs, branches, or even by rotary slicing a tree trunk. Depending on the type of cut used, any manner of interesting figures can be achieved.
Veneering techniques can be found as far back as the ancient Egyptians but started to be used in earnest in Europe in the late 17th century when Dutch marquetry in flowers became popular.
This technique is often used in marquetry and parquetry as the thinner veneers are easier to cut into the intricate patterns that are required of this technique of inlay. In fact – many designs would be impossible to achieve in solid wood. One also uses veneer in order to be able to use fine and exotic woods and especially particular grain patterns to their best advantage. A log or a particular part thereof can be used more often for their grain pattern as the yield of thinly slicing will be higher than a solid piece, placing less stress on the resource.
A Burl is a good example of this, the burled part of the tree tends to be very small. Therefore using solid burls would be a very expensive way of showing off this beautiful grain. To slice the section into a fine veneer means one can make a half top of a chest of drawers out of one burl knot.
Unlike many modern furniture ateliers, Theodore Alexander hand-cuts veneers which ensures that every piece of furniture is both authentic and unique.