Alice Holttum

furniture maker

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The design of this cabinet combined curves and straight edges to create a look which was intended to highlight both.

The curved sides, top and bottom were made from laminated strips of yew, spalted beech and sycamore, each individually fashioned using a template. The straight side was an intact plank of yew.  

The shelves were constructed from oysters of various types of local wood (some dragged out of the firewood pile) - laburnum, elm, cherry and yew - and supplemented with circles of timber left over from the laminated sides. The oysters were laid out in frames of varying lengths before being dowelled and glued together. They were passed through a drum sander rather than thicknesser due to their end grain surfaces. 


The triplets of thick oak dowel holding the oyster shelves in place were mirrored in the solid oak shelves on the other side of the piece.


The wood was sanded to a high lustre and finished with shellac and wax, creating a tactile piece with a smooth and organic feel.


The cabinet measures approximately 160cmH x 110cmW x 30cmD.‚Äč

Oyster cabinet