Tom McLaughlin

‘Ascension’
mahogany, Cuban mahogany, crotch Makore, Amboyna burl, ebony, quartersawn white oak, hard maple, poplar, white pine, ebonized brass
22″ deep x 42″ wide x 66″ high

The timing could not have been better. For months I had been playing with ideas and sketches for a new chest-of-drawers design that I really wanted to make, but could not afford to build on spec due to the complexity.

Then, as if he had read my mind, a great client emailed a request for a contemporary chest of drawers to relate to a bed design I had made for him a year earlier in the very contemporary style I had been developing. My idea had a patron!

There was only one problem. He specified it was to be a wedding gift for the special person in his life. She would need plenty of storage, and the chest should be taller than most, between five and six feet high. 

So back to the drawing board. My standard height chest design idea became a chest-on-chest, a form popularized in the eighteenth century. But the new challenge was to create a design for the upper chest, which complemented the dynamic curved lines of the original chest idea here. 

Upon reviewing four sketch options during a later visit to my shop in Canterbury, my client and his fiancée quickly chose the final design, the one I preferred as well.

The design is fitting, as it features a form hinting at a flower ascending — brilliant, uplifting, and freshly in bloom. 

In the end, this collaborative experience reminded me of how much we need each other to bring to life the most beautiful things.

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