abstract wall art

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Project by jamsomito posted 10-15-2018 01:39 AM 1048 views 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m working on a big desk for my office. Currently, I have all 3 sections, the monitor shelf, and height adjustable legs completed. Next is a printer stand and some cabinets, maybe a curio for underneath (currently just 2×4 temp legs). While making the shelf, I found these cutoffs on the ground and rearranged them slightly to make this cool pattern:

I saved the scraps for a couple years (yeah, I’m kind of slow on my personal projects) so I could maybe make some wall art to go along with the desk. I finally found the resources and time to make it happen.

The theme on this piece is contrast. The maple scraps I had were very clear, white, and pretty straight grained, so I found some gnarly #1 common cherry as a backer because of it’s similar grain structure, contrasting warm brown color, and so I could display its knots, twisted grain, and sapwood against the clean maple. The maple scraps had a lot of tear out, jigsaw marks, glue squeeze out and drips, and otherwise wavy edges making up a smooth flowing pattern overall. In contrast to that, I chose straight milling and joints with a uniform roundover on the edges for the backer panel. The roundover actually matches that of the front edge of the desk. Lastly, the shelf on the desk has brushed aluminum feet, so I made my own brushed aluminum standoffs to give the maple pieces some depth and a few more shadow lines on the final piece. These were just epoxied in, and I used dowel centers to locate the holes on the backer board.

I’m probably not the first to come up with this, but I was pretty proud of the way I came up with to mount this to the wall. It’s just a long french cleat on the top screwed into studs, and a few finger clips on the bottom to hold it flat to the wall and give it the same spacing as the top. This still allows for the expansion and contraction of the top with the seasons. It was just some leftover poplar I had laying around – 5/4 planed down to 15/16”.

The cherry was soaked in BLO then put in the sun for 4 hours to darken up, then I waited a week and put on 4 coats of satin wipe-on oil based poly. The maple was finished with 3 coats of flat water based poly to avoid ambering and match the desk top.

Thanks for looking. C&C welcome.

6 comments so far

View torus's profile


546 posts in 1693 days

#1 posted 10-15-2018 03:07 AM

Fascinating image. And execution is superb!

-- "It's getting better..." - put this on my RIP stone!

View 489tad's profile


4079 posts in 4292 days

#2 posted 10-15-2018 03:19 AM

I think its a great idea to use odds and ends to make something eye catching and interesting. I like the three bottom clips. Ive never seen that before and will use it.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Ivan's profile


17045 posts in 4148 days

#3 posted 10-15-2018 04:24 AM

Always good way to use old scraps. Nice work!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View therealSteveN's profile


9201 posts in 1855 days

#4 posted 10-15-2018 05:55 AM

Funky art there. I’m not sure I love the cutoffs but I do love that gummy, streaky, diseased, Cherry.

Thanks for posting.

-- Think safe, be safe

View swirt's profile


6791 posts in 4252 days

#5 posted 10-15-2018 01:10 PM

Nice work on a great look AND a good safe hanging method. I like you clips idea.

-- Galootish log blog,

View a1Jim's profile


118296 posts in 4858 days

#6 posted 10-15-2018 01:25 PM

Totally unique looks like a fun project.


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