Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Not so plain Jane

I am building a display cabinet at the moment, something open fronted with glass shelves.

The outside of the cabinet will be from American walnut, but for the inside faces I wanted something lighter and contrasting.

Something like sycamore could be used, as it has a minimal grain patter and is a 'white-with-a-hint-of-yellow' colour. But I thought this will be a bit dull and uninteresting.

A wood I have always wanted to use is something called lacewood. It has a lace or snake skin pattern and is a pinkish colour with brown flecks. A good contrast for the walnut.

Here is a picture of the lacewood I have for the cabinet inside. You should be able to get what I am talking about.

Lacewood showing the striking grain pattern

Lacewood has an interesting background.  Most woods with an unusual grain pattern or colour are exotic timbers, but not this one.  It is a tree that grows very well in this country and exceedingly well in cities.  I am sure you know the tree I am talking about - sometimes called 'lungs of the city'.  Want another clue?  Here is picture of the tree in question.

The source of lacewood

Still clueless?  A hint is in the blog title........yes it is a Jane tree!!

Alright, it isn't a Jane tree, but it is a London plane.  Yes, that tree you see in parks and streets everywhere (and not only in London or the UK, but global).  

The London plane tree is a bit of an odd one...there is some argument as to where it comes from.  It is a cross of two trees, the oriental plane and American sycamore but these are debated. It has been widely planted in England since the late 1600's.

Apparently the tallest London place tree is in Bryanston School, Blandford Forum, Dorset. In 2008 it measured over 48m tall. Maybe fresh air is good for them.....

So now you know all about lacewood and where it comes from.

I will post some more pictures of the cabinet in due course.

For more information about me or my furniture, the have a look at my website.