Sunday, July 14, 2013

"Every day each of us wakes up,

reaches into drawers and closets, pulls out a costume for the day and proceeds to dress in a style that can only be called preposterous."  ~Mary Schmich

I brought in drawer liners...I thought with all of the climate changes that it would be good to keep a fresh scent in closed areas or even on linen shelves.  Then I got to thinking about the drawer...
Drawers were not common in furniture until the 17th century.  In medieval Europe, a "coffer" held clothes.  That was just a simple wooden box with a hinged lid, and it may or may not have had feet.  Once again, the nobility had these chests in their homes.   This is a 1700s French oak chest.
An early transitional phase was the installation of one drawer beneath this main compartment.   This was called a mule chest.  It is usually wider than it is high and deep. A mule chest has drawers in its base and a hinged top, beneath which there are either two short drawers or one long one. This form, introduced in England in the 1600, was popular for 100 years in England and colonial America.
A number of early pieces from the seventeenth century were made of oak and manufactured in England.  The French designed in walnut, and many pieces from both countries have survived in the real antique world and sell for thousands of dollars.

When I was researching, I found this description to distinguish between a chest of drawers and a dresser..."Chest: - usually made of wood between 5"-6" in height with 4 to 6 stacked up drawers on each other (chest of drawers). Definitely taller in height than dresser but narrower with no mirror on it.   Dresser:- similar to Chest, but visibly wider but a lot shorter and carries mirror to help you dressing up. A dresser's mirror should display your waist line from 3 to 6 feet away. A chest is too high to do this even if you add a mirror.  If you put a mirror on top of it, it will show your face/head only. (not suggested) Dresser drawers are usually no more than three in stacks but with two rows totaling 6 drawers."  Got that? 

Anyway, some people do really creative things with drawers besides stuffing them with stuff.  Tejo Remy is a Dutch designer, and his theory about creating is: "By making everything our material the world is our toolkit, we transform the familiar and 
incorporate the circumstances. By applying this as a kind of design rule we create our own freedom.”  Obviously, these drawers have been freed from their chests or dressers! 

But, the chest of drawers continues to be a popular item for contemporary designers. The design below was done by Remy in 1991 and is called the "You Can't Lay Down Your Memories" chest of drawers, built up from 20 second hand drawers sourced from local flea markets in Europe tied together with a jute strap. This method means no two productions are the same. The Museum of Modern Art acquired one of the earliest made.  But, if we did this in the shop, you would wonder if we were seriously sniffing/smoking those drawer liners!
Anyway, if you need to free up a musty smell, stop in!  We have a variety of drawer/shelf liners, and they are pretty also!  And...made in America!


"When you're a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you're not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You'll know it's there, so you're going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back." ~Steve Jobs



No comments: