The Bookshelf of Knowledge

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Project by NíccoloJosé posted 03-27-2011 03:58 AM 3366 views 4 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Bookshelf of Knowledge (October 22- November 11, 2010 with one assistant)
Dimensions: 26’’ x 56’’ x 102’‘
Net Weight: 280lbs

My dad adopted and balled 300 Mahogany tree (30yrs old average) to our farm after he found out they were giving them away to make way for the construction and development of Texas Instrument factory and Samsung factory near our farm. After a few months of balling all the trees, one of the biggest typhoon (Ketsana) hit the Philippines in September 2009 and killed 200 out of the 300 Mahogany trees we transfered. I told my dad to store all the lumber, the roots, and even branches as I will give another life to those dead trees.

As I needed a bookshelf to store the books I have brought back, I decided to use the raw Mahogany for the first time and combine it with old wood. I wanted to custom fit the sculptural bookshelf in the corner of my room where there was an I-beam protruding from the wall. The ceiling was high so I wanted the concept of a “spiral staircase in a tree house”. I wanted to easily sit on the bottom shelf and be able to climb up the shelves too without needing a ladder like what I’m doing in the last photo.

Made from recycled century old houses in the Philippines except for the 30 year old (1)Mahogany branches that hold everything together. The rest of the materials are (2)Tamarind, (3)Narra, (4)Kamagong, (5) Ipil, (6) Dungon, (7) Kalantas or Philippines Cedar, (8) Molave, (9) Bakan, (10) Palo de China, and (11)Abaca rope

-- Niccolo Jose; Filipino Artist,

23 comments so far

View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 4315 days

#1 posted 03-27-2011 04:03 AM

Love your work!

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View MShort's profile


1798 posts in 4499 days

#2 posted 03-27-2011 04:24 AM

Awesome Project. Thanks for sharing the story behind it.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View Manitario's profile


2818 posts in 3964 days

#3 posted 03-27-2011 05:15 AM

wow, you, sir, do amazing work! I love this bookshelf!!!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 4003 days

#4 posted 03-27-2011 05:26 AM

Ang galing naman! Imagine how you glue those recycled pieces just to make several shelvings. I can see a lot of aspirants who made cutting boards but you are exemplary at it. You glue thousand of pieces to make something out of it. I was attracted to the wavy box you have in background. I know you will post it… otherwise please do. Thanks for posting.
God Bless.

-- Bert

View dakremer's profile


2768 posts in 4172 days

#5 posted 03-27-2011 06:35 AM

i also love your work! very rustic yet modern. Very cool. Any way we can get some more pics of that building/studio of yours??? I’d love to see it – it looks awesome

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 4315 days

#6 posted 03-27-2011 07:03 AM

I agree, would love to see the studio!

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View NíccoloJosé's profile


96 posts in 3702 days

#7 posted 03-27-2011 11:36 AM

@Bert: That wavy box is a floor lamp… I’ll upload it next. =)

-- Niccolo Jose; Filipino Artist,

View CampD's profile


1827 posts in 4567 days

#8 posted 03-27-2011 01:47 PM

Very creative.
I’ve had an idea for a log book shelve kicking around in my head.
yours with the logs and the finished shelves is unique.
With the rope, is that just decorative? to hide the joints or is it funtional?

-- Doug...

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3947 days

#9 posted 03-27-2011 02:05 PM

That’s an unusual bookcase and very nicely done.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View NíccoloJosé's profile


96 posts in 3702 days

#10 posted 03-27-2011 02:28 PM

@CampD: All the branches have 2 pairs of 45degree dowels than lock them into the shelves, up and down. I even use some of the smaller branches as joints. The rope is for decoration and make it look cleaner, instead of adding wood filler.

-- Niccolo Jose; Filipino Artist,

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 4199 days

#11 posted 03-27-2011 03:04 PM

Another fine piece of woodwork/art form, your trend so far is wonderful, I like how you custom fit this to the contour of the wall, great execution and use of your imagination, if you keep dreaming up all these cool ideas, it wonders me if you get any sleep,lols, thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View woodzy's profile


418 posts in 3760 days

#12 posted 03-27-2011 03:07 PM

Nice work. Actually the work you have been posting recently has been really incredible. Thanks for sharing your work.

-- Anthony

View Bluepine38's profile


3393 posts in 4166 days

#13 posted 03-27-2011 04:49 PM

I was wondering about the staggered shape, but as you explained, it is utilitarian, to make it easy to reach
the top shelf and to fit into the required space. It is also a very beautiful work of art, you certainly have
used your talent and schooling to create great craftsmanship and artistry. Thank you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 82 yr young apprentice carpenter

View EPJartisan's profile


1123 posts in 4206 days

#14 posted 03-27-2011 05:21 PM

Great story, though it breaks my heart about the Mahogany trees, yet getting stock material is always silver lining. My favorite detail is the rope at each junction, very clean. Recycle / reuse … love it!!!

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View Robsshop's profile


923 posts in 4056 days

#15 posted 03-27-2011 06:59 PM

You have a wonderful vision that comes through in all of the functional works of art that You have posted and it is amazing how You re-purpose most, if not all Your materials. The book self is truly an example of Your talents and will be inspirational to many who see it, My self included ! Thanks for sharing Your talents and vision, wonderful stuff !!! ......ROB

-- Rob,Gaithersburg,MD,One mans trash is another mans wood shop treasure ! ;-)

showing 1 through 15 of 23 comments

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