13 January, 2009

Woodworking - Part I


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I have been ruminating for a few months about sharing some of the woodwork I have created during the last 20 years. A couple of the folks who post on Knowledge is Power (http://www.sondrak.com/) have convinced me that it is time. My shop was called Ravenwood Studios. It provided a living for me and a creative outlet for the talents given me by a gracious God.


(1) This Russian White Oak Dry Sink is as good a place to begin as any. While researching reclaimed Chestnut timbers, I found a company in Ohio who had purchased a whole warehouse of white oak in St. Petersburg, Russia. It had been locked up since before the 1917 revolution. I bought enough to run wainscoting, doors, casings, moldings, base and trim for a remodel job on Belvedere Island in San Francisco Bay. This "dry sink'' was an additional piece added by the designer to be used as a bathroom vanity.

It is 42'"wide X 24"deep X 36" high with full mortice and tenon joinery throughout. The doors are flush "tombstone" raised panel doors. A style that is usually reserved for tall clocks and fine pedestal desks. The carving is reminiscent of Slavic/Russian folk carving which was introduced to the Santa Fe/Taos artisans by the great Russian artist and founding member of the Taos Artist Society, Nicolai Fechin.

It was shipped unfinished and installed and site finished after the copper dry sink had been manufactured, patinated and installed. Sadly, I was never given pictures of the finished product.

(2) Provincial French Cherry six drawer COD (chest of drawers)

This replica of a french country chest is 65" wide X 26" deep X 36 " high. It is constructed using traditional joinery techniques. All the flat surfaces have been hand planed and distressed. The slipper feet, shell carving, center arch and moldings are all hand cut using traditional tools. The drawer fronts are hand raised and dovetailed to the pine interior. The piece was finished using caustic soda solution to oxidize the wood. Then a series of glazing stains were applied to approximate the aging process. Finally, several layers of shellac based polish were applied by hand and burnished with a wax top coat.

(3) Pine Side Tables in the Portugese style

These cabriolet legged tables were made as bedside tables. Each one is 24 " wide X 18" deep X 32" high. As with all my pieces, I used traditional construction techiques. In this case the sides, back and fronts were attached to the hand shaped legs by means of double mortice and tenon joints, pinned with wooden trunions to add to strength. The tops frame and panel with solid pine panels. The frames are molded to replicate a Pembroke game table. Oil stains and shellac polish were used as a base finish with a dark pine wax burnished in to replicate the aging process.


  1. Sven - these are truly masterpieces. Thank you for sharing them with us. I had no idea your talent was this magnificent. Truly, God blessed you.

  2. Sven, those are amazing!

  3. Anonymous11:59 AM

    Nice work Sven, nice work.
    Ravenwood? Indiana Jones fan?


  4. Ack-chew-ally...gsebes,
    Ravens are part of my Native totem, so I have been told. Seemed that Raven and Wood(working) went well together.

    I'll have to dig out my carved sign and post a pic.

  5. Ms. D.8:20 AM


    I wish he could show you all of his work. There have been pieces I swear were absolutely breathtaking. I hope he will share a few of them.

    Sven, you rock!