Small writing desk

The top and sides of this desk are made from pear wood. One of the boards had a knot that had partially fallen out, causing a hole through the board: since I had only a few boards available, I decided to keep the knot (it also adds some character to the desktop). For the same reason I kept the live edge of one of the boards at the front side of the desktop, I just removed the bark. Therefore the right side of the desktop is 4 cm wider than the left side. The desk is essentially a box, the sides are connected to the bottom and top via dovetails. At the back, I left some space for storing cables. Dimensions are: H 73 cm, W 90 cm, D 50 cm.

The underside of the desk and the drawers are made from cherry since I had insufficient pear wood for the entire desk. To add character, I lined the front of the drawers with a 7 mm piece of spalted willow. I love spalted wood because of the beautiful colors and figuring, particularly in maple. Spalted maple is however near impossible to find where I live. Therefore I tried willow, obtained after cutting some willow trees in our garden and leaving the trunks outside for about one year. This wood is very soft and is rapidly attacked by fungi and insects, causing quick spalting and resulting in very nice colors and textures. The flip side is that because of it’s softness, willow is very delicate. Wouldn’t be suitable for e.g. a table top, but for drawer fronts I think it’s suitable.

The bottom of the drawers is lined with nice handmade marbled paper, purchased during a holiday in France from a local artist in Nïmes (I made a special holder in one of the drawers to keep her business card). I protected the paper with a few coats of satin lacquer. The desk is finished with a few coats of Danish oil and a coat of wax.

The black drawer pulls are made from ebony and I turned the table legs from wengé.

Building details here.


Bernard Delaey