Brian Sargent

‘X and Why’
mottled Anigre, Swiss pear, hard maple
30″ deep x 17″ wide x 19″ high

The seed of design for this piece was planted 20 years ago at the Philadelphia Fine Furniture Show, where an elliptical chest of drawers intrigued me. This two-drawer table with its tapered elliptical form is the result of watering that seed.

Things Remembered
We all can remember things that we have seen or words that have been said to us by a friend or family member that have touched our lives. A piece of furniture at the 1995 Philadelphia Fine Furniture Show was one of those things that influenced my work in ways that I have not always been aware. The piece was a six-drawer elliptical dresser. The quality and craftsmanship of this piece were amazing and the overall design was beautiful. The way the solid handles became one with the veneer drawers was stunning.  

At the time, I did not fully understand the technical challenges and knowledge needed to build such a piece. As the years went by, I subconsciously incorporated the essence of this elliptical shape into the designs of my furniture, as well as all the dimensions of my casework having curved sides. A number of years ago, I drew up my design for a six-drawer tapered elliptical dresser, my response to the piece I was so influenced by at the Philadelphia show.  

Having 20 years of experience in making my own designs, I felt compelled to start down the road to making my own tapered elliptical dresser. To do this, I knew that I had to start with a small piece, because of the technical challenges of my design. From these technical challenges, the “X and Why” was born. All of the elements of this design came together to make a beautiful and intriguing piece of art furniture. The copper base of “X and Why” complements the Swiss pear around the rim, pushing the energy of the piece upward. The block’s mottled Anigre keeps the eye moving around the piece, giving a sense of motion. The overlapping sides give a sense of intrigue to what is inside the small table. When the release is touched, the drawers open to reveal the Swiss pear-lined interiors.  

“X and Why” may have had me scratching my head thinking, “Why am I taking on such a technically challenging design?” The answer lies in a satisfactorily completed piece of work. My quest now is to find someone who sees the grace and beauty in “X and Why” and is inspired to join me on my journey to create my design for a six-drawer tapered elliptical dresser.  

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