Chapter Nine


Nonpenetrating or Surface Enrichment

"Jo still further clarify principles controlling the applications of veneers, refer to Plate 1 1. Let us again consider the functions of veneers in their task of relieving the plainness of bare areas, and by their grain design to give surfaces a lively, rhythmically dynamic quality or a restful, grain parallelism. This grain pattern as a whole must move in sympathy, in parallelism, with the major thrust, either of the surface upon which it is placed or with the thrust of the volume itself. Thus a horizontal volume should have most of the grain pattern in a horizontal direction; a vertical volume, a vertical grain, and so on. Circular swirls and burls are interesting on circular surfaces and, if cleverly used, make points of interest on any surface requiring a lively movement. Pieces of furniture designed specifically for rest need restful, even grains; while coffee tables, particularly with elliptical or circular tops, may well have swirling patterns.

As illustrated in Plate 11, Figures 85, 86, and 87 are exemplifications of these principles. Moreover, as the structural lines usually carry the major thrusts, veneering grain should support and augment the structure.

In Figure 83, Plate 11, we have a clock with simple volume enrichment of the blocked-out type. The clock face is a .618 or XM rectangle in a vertical position with the major thrust upward. The grain pattern is mainly upward, with the central strip making a slightly darker tonal contrast with the main tone of the veneer. Bounding this is a black veneer or inlay. Monotony of thrust is avoided and

equilibrium secured by the contrasting top moldings.

In Figure 84, Plate 11, a side-to-side veneer has been used with a distinct curl to the grain. "Time moves on" seems to call for a lively grain. All touching parts of the veneer have opposing grain patterns, yet the upward thrust is dominant and amplified.

The book holder of Figure 88 has either an inlay or veneer of some dark wood to accent the outer contour; while a small panel, related proportionately to the end of the project, gives character to the design. Units planned as described in Figure 80 are adaptable to this panel.

Figures 83, 84, and 88, Plate 11, show darker veneer used in the contours to support thrusts and are effective border devices. In the three designs mentioned, it was felt that little plastic enrichment was necessary, due to the beauty of the veneering; but to keep them from appearing "boxy" or stripped, a small amount of blocked-out plastic enrichment is seen at the base and top of the clock of Figure 83, at the sides of Figure 84, and at the base of Figure 88. Even these conservative additions supply a certain modeling which adds to their beauty. Plastic and surface enrichment must not compete for supremacy in the same design; one must dominate.

Tonal Balance in Veneers and Enamels

As has been repeatedly emphasized, darks and lights, dark and light veneers, should be distributed over the volumetric mass in pleasing arrangement, avoiding a one-sided appearance, the result of poor distribution and unbalance. Consider the uses of the design—Is it adapted to strong contrasts or to quiet effects with a close value range? While not sufficiently universal to be considered a rule, small articles like book ends, small boxes and paper cutters, will bear stronger contrasts than will large cabinets. Large volumes need to be held together, need to retain the attention, and violent con-

Types or Form Enrichment blocked-out accents supporting thrusts. surface enrichment. by emphasizing qualities of — counter thrust materials .


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