I recently took some time out of my normal schedule to design a new rosette. Over the years, I’ve mostly been making rosettes inspired by Torres, Hauser and Romanillos. I’ve been wanting come up with an original design that I could really call my own, but it’s always difficult to design something new that both shows an amount of skill and is also tasteful. I feel like this new rosette balances the two quite well and, at the same time, includes some of the techniques and proceedures that I’ve learned over the years paying tribute to other builders. Here is a short collection of photos backwards through the building process.
The hexagonal interior mosaic motif made up of tiny triangles of maple, walnut and Spanish cedar; the technique is quite similar to how Romanillos makes his arches rosette. The three woods are planed to a specific thickness and then laminated with a hand-planed 0,1mm thick black veneer. The pieces are oriented so that the subsequent triangles show face-grain which has a clear and reflective quality to it. For this motif, I was originally inspired by looking at an old book of patterns collected by 19th century architect Owen Jones who had spent much time documenting mosaic patterns at the famous Alhambra palace in Granada. I wanted to include more of the complex and random nature of the patterns, but it quickly became to busy and didn’t quite work as a rosette.
The exterior motif made up of various veneer lines of ebony, padouk, rosewood and beech. The middle lamination is made up of 20 hand-planed birch and rosewood veneer strips. They are ironed flat, glued together and then cut into strips. This requires a very sharp plane, good eyesight and some trouble-shooting to avoid all of the 0,1mm thin strips from immediately curling up and wrinkling from the moisture of the glue. The result is subtle from a normal distance and dizzying from up close.