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Thread: Art deco

  1. #1
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    Art deco

    Anyone know of any resources for learning to build and design classic art deco furniture? I have have always wanted to focus on veneer work and I l9ve the style of this time period...

  2. #2
    If I remember right a couple of guys invented it as a serious modern formal form. Symetrical is a requirement of Formal.
    I think they did well. I see the two main elements as vertical and exhuberant. I think that's easier for buildings than
    furniture. I would just look at pics and read what the "founders" wrote.

  3. #3
    One more...inlaid laminate was popular for elevator doors and such. I've mentioned here as a good use for CNC work and
    no one was interested. The idea would work well since its origin (beyond electrical insulation) was for smooth decorated
    surfaces. Only currant use I ve seen is a lady who uses it to cover furniture .But you would never equate her work with
    Art Deco. I have to add that some people see no value in something once it is no longer drudgery.

  4. #4
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    The best way is to go and look at some examples of the real thing and take notes on proportions, materials and have a look at construction methods. Look at buildings as well as furniture. Take a tape measure with you. Going to the source is best because otherwise you are relying on opinion, not fact. Cheers

  5. #5
    Hi Aaron,
    You are speaking my love language. My favorite design style by far. So much so, I have been inside the stainless spire of the Chrystler building and visited the Art Deco district of Miami Beach - Huge source of visual info, especially since I favor post war deco, more streamlined, machine age rather than the busy ornamental pre-war stage of deco.

    I own two huge, expensive books, worth every penny - "American Art Deco" and "Ruhlmann - Master of Art Deco". But that was before the internet. You can google top deco designers of furniture like Ruhlmann, Kem Weber, Donald Desky, Ely Jacques Kahn, Then Raymond Leowy, etc.

    Wayne is correct, too, so check out local deco. Every major city still has some deco buildings in them.

    My favorite tenet of deco is the mixed media and intentional embrace of new exotic materials. Great deco designers used glass, stainless steel and plastics right alongside exotic wood.

    Here are some of my designs from the 90's - heavy deco influence.

    orientalDeco-sideVu.jpgOrientalDecoTable.jpgDecoYou-Avodire.jpgweb-deco-U.JPGBlazyJohn011.JPGQuiltedHallmirror-lorez95%.JPG
    Mfr of Dichrolam® - The gemstone Opal in sheet form, used by PRS, Fender, Martin etc, and Chatoyant Carbon Fiber™ - molded CF with higher 3D flash than Koa, seen in supercars to 1911 grips - Quilted, Wild Ribbon Flame, etc. in solid and veneer stock. Latest is always on IG: john.blazy_dichrolam_llc
    Delta Unisaw, Rabbit QX-80-1290 80W Laser, 5 x 12 ft laminating ovens, Powermax 22/44, Accuspray guns, Covington diamond lap and the usual assortment of cool toys / tools.

  6. #6
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    John, glad to see you here.

  7. #7
    John,I would love to see your Dichrolam on some Deco elevator doors. I favor the word "exuberant" over "busy" for
    early Deco. I can't deny that WW2 was a big exuberance killer. To me Post Modern is "Post Apocalypse". And early Deco is
    certainly less busy than the gothic cathedrals ! My favorite example of pre war exuberance is the idea of having people
    in a dirigible moored to the Empire State Building climb down a rope ladder. Sadly they "chickened out".

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Richards View Post
    John, glad to see you here.
    Thanks, Dave for those welcoming words in a cold internet world! I would love to be here more often - so swamped these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Fulks View Post
    John,I would love to see your Dichrolam on some Deco elevator doors. I favor the word "exuberant" over "busy" for
    early Deco. I can't deny that WW2 was a big exuberance killer. To me Post Modern is "Post Apocalypse". And early Deco is
    certainly less busy than the gothic cathedrals ! My favorite example of pre war exuberance is the idea of having people
    in a dirigible moored to the Empire State Building climb down a rope ladder. Sadly they "chickened out".
    Dichrolam on elevator doors is a great idea. Sent samples and had a dialogue for while with US Elevator interiors a month or so back, and thought my rep and I found a great niche, but no. Most architects hate Dichrolam - too colorful. All they want is earth tones, and something easy to pick out of the 3Form catalogue.
    Exuberance is a much better word, because I love the detailed deco of Ely Jacques Kahn and others of the era. Its amazing how the need for production efficiency coupled with aerodynamics as metaphor for speed / progress stripped down early deco to its later elegant simplicity. Still influential today.
    Mfr of Dichrolam® - The gemstone Opal in sheet form, used by PRS, Fender, Martin etc, and Chatoyant Carbon Fiber™ - molded CF with higher 3D flash than Koa, seen in supercars to 1911 grips - Quilted, Wild Ribbon Flame, etc. in solid and veneer stock. Latest is always on IG: john.blazy_dichrolam_llc
    Delta Unisaw, Rabbit QX-80-1290 80W Laser, 5 x 12 ft laminating ovens, Powermax 22/44, Accuspray guns, Covington diamond lap and the usual assortment of cool toys / tools.

  9. #9
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    I am so sorry for the late reply I did not get any notifications that someone had responded to my post.

    John your peices are phenomenal! I ordered the book on Ruhlmann, all resources I have seen lead to him. Surprisingly there is not too much information about him online for being such an influential designer.

    Unfortunately for me I live in a very rural area with little access to a lot of resources other than online. The closest major city 4.5 hours away (Minneapolis) I do get there a couple times a year.

    Working in multiple mediums has always intrigued me but I also recognize that it must be approached with care and intentional thought.

    I am looking to design and build peices that have postwar deco influences and remain understated in their final form from casual observation.

  10. #10
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    Holy crap I just realized you invented dichrolam!! I remember looking at this stuff about two or three years ago, I don't remember where I saw it but I looked at it a lot and thought to myself the potential for that stuff was huge. That is so cool that you are on here! Man the internet is awesome...

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron carter View Post
    Holy crap I just realized you invented dichrolam!! I remember looking at this stuff about two or three years ago, I don't remember where I saw it but I looked at it a lot and thought to myself the potential for that stuff was huge. That is so cool that you are on here! Man the internet is awesome...
    Thanks Aaron! Since you like Deco and Dichrolam, you are on a good track. I always thought that if Dichrolam was available in the 30's the Deco Masters would have used it. Ruhlmann is not entirely my cup of tea designwise - only about 20% of his work really speaks to me, but thats a lot for my critical tastes. The Neo Deco work of Dakota Jackson and Brueton furniture is really inspiring - look them up. Also promise me you will look up Pollaro Custom Furniture - http://www.pollaro.com/ - incredible interpretations / reproductions of Ruhlmann.


    Mfr of Dichrolam® - The gemstone Opal in sheet form, used by PRS, Fender, Martin etc, and Chatoyant Carbon Fiber™ - molded CF with higher 3D flash than Koa, seen in supercars to 1911 grips - Quilted, Wild Ribbon Flame, etc. in solid and veneer stock. Latest is always on IG: john.blazy_dichrolam_llc
    Delta Unisaw, Rabbit QX-80-1290 80W Laser, 5 x 12 ft laminating ovens, Powermax 22/44, Accuspray guns, Covington diamond lap and the usual assortment of cool toys / tools.

  12. #12
    I looked at that site and enjoyed it. Some of the rooms remind me of the old magazine features on some Hollywood star
    lounging at home.

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