Art Deco Table with Trompe L’oeil Interior

38″ wide by 19″ wide by 30″ high
Pau Ferro, Quilted Maple, Macassar Ebony, and various marquetry woods
This Art Deco table is my first exploration into Trompe L’oeil marquetry imagery and mechanical furniture.  The table commission itself began as a nice Deco style table without any of the extra details.  To that base we added the two pop out drink trays in Maple and Ebony with polished Stainless Steel inserts.  We then began discussing what to do with the interior space of the central column.  A variety of ideas were tossed about until the client settled on a Trompe L’oeil image hidden behind a secret door with a couple more secret areas hidden in the image.

We worked out a system of imbedded magnets that would hold pieces in place but also allow them to be opened with a special magnetic key.  The door is held closed by four magnets and there are additional magnets buried inside the hidden drawer and the outside face of the secret door.  We decided the special magnetic key should be hidden somewhere on the outside of the table so it could be accessed easily but not seen.  The key itself has been veneered to match the surrounding wood and is spring loaded so a gentle push makes it pop out.  It then can be used to open the main secret door and also to pull out the hidden drawer.  The small door in the image leads to a small space with a polished floor and arched ceiling.  The veneer for the walls and ceiling gradually change to darker colors as they go deeper into the cavity to increase the sense of depth.

My website creator Chad Thompson of  Monkey C Media volunteered to shoot some nice video of the piece in action so all the secret areas could be seen moving.  The video has been posted to YouTube and is shown below.  Chad also does some great photography and video work that’s worth seeing at Chad Thompson Photography.

This table won the Grand Prize in the 2013 Craftsman’s Challenge contest sponsored by Veneer Tech.