An ornate bed created from solid cherry, black walnut, natural maple & purple-stained maple ~ the latter inlaid with the star groups of the Southern & Northern constellations, accurately positioned
A luxuriously exotic piece, this ornate bed displays parquetry, carvings and turnings & with inlaid metals mapping the constellations.
I selected these particular woods to represent the colour tones of buildings and their interiors in North Africa and the surrounding region.
I used cherry for the main structure as the colour is closest to that of the mud-brick walls of the buildings, whilst maple was chosen to represent the colour of marble columns and the background colour often seen in tiles there.
Black walnut was chosen to contrast with the other woods in the same way that the colour of cedar* and other exotic woods used for screens and panelling in the region contrasted with the lighter tiles and marble.
*Cedar itself was not chosen, as black walnut will better withstand the knocks and the wear and tear of everyday usage.
Turnings feature heavily in Moorish interiors so needed to be prominent in this piece ~ I have tried though, with my shaping of the turned finials, to avoid the look of the traditional triple-sphered pinnacle that denotes a mosque.
The various shapes of the horseshoe arches reflect the changing styles over the centuries.
The arch over the central panel of the headboard reflects the appearance of the domed roofs of North African and Eastern buildings, whilst the internal scalloping of this arch is typical of the more ornate shaping of some interior arches.
This central arch is ‘supported’ by pillars, the shaping of these to either side of the central panel of the headboard being designed to introduce an element of ancient Egyptian architecture.
The main panel of the headboard is of colour stained maple, with inlaid aluminium and brass ‘stars’ showing the Southern and Northern constellations, the Pole star being centrally placed.
The ‘star map’ was used in this piece of furniture to not only bring to mind a view looking out from a building at the night sky, but also in recognition of the fact that all people, whether dictators or street vendors, are equal within the Universe.
The design of the hand-carved walnut panels of the headboard and the cherry, maple & walnut parquetry panels of headboard and footboard are intended to represent Zillij tilework and pierced screens typical of the region and to pay homage to the skill of the tile workers.
The Arabic word picked out in gold is ‘Salaam’ ~ the word used in everyday greeting, but literally meaning ‘Peace’.