Greene and Greene Motawi Tile Frame

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Project by CaptainSkully posted 08-28-2008 05:55 PM 10243 views 12 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Greene and Greene Motawi Tile Frame
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We visited the Gamble House in Pasadena. As a woodworker, I was so moved by the craftsmanship that when my girlfriend showed me the Motawi tiles she really liked, I told her I would make a commemorative frame for them in the Greene and Greene style. It was extremely difficult for such a small project. It has splines and square plugs, with a scarf joint. I didn’t bother with any cloud lifts and it made the design too busy. It’s made from quartersawn white oak, and finished with Classic Oak and Sedona Red. The splines and plugs were finished with Dark Walnut. The funny thing is that my girlfriend’s Dad gave her a completely different Motawi tile framed for her birthday right after this, unbeknownst to us.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

19 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5305 days

#1 posted 08-28-2008 06:12 PM

Nice looking work! At first glance, I thought it was one of Dan's.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 4860 days

#2 posted 08-28-2008 06:39 PM

Exquisite looking piece! You did a beautiful job on it. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 4789 days

#3 posted 08-28-2008 06:53 PM

Great job!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View craig1's profile


1 post in 4645 days

#4 posted 08-28-2008 07:51 PM

That a beautiful piece. I really like the color. Can you tell more details about the finish schedule?

View jeanmarc's profile


1899 posts in 4802 days

#5 posted 08-28-2008 08:39 PM

Great job

-- jeanmarc manosque france

View daveintexas's profile


365 posts in 4962 days

#6 posted 08-28-2008 09:52 PM

The frame looks perfect, really accents the tile nicely.

Thanks for posting

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 5214 days

#7 posted 08-28-2008 10:04 PM

Darn you.

Here’s another great idea that I’ll have to try when I get time.

I’ve got some reclaimed Rookwood tiles from a fireplace I salvaged.

Great looking project!

-- 温故知新

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4671 days

#8 posted 08-28-2008 10:30 PM

It’s beautiful similar to Charles Rennie Macintosh who came from my city of Glasgow Scotland he designed the top flower it’s called around here anyway the Glasgow rose.frame is as good as it gets inserts too really stunning well done to both of you .Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View WhattheChuck's profile


455 posts in 4647 days

#9 posted 08-28-2008 10:51 PM

Cool! I love G&G.

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

View CaptainSkully's profile


1615 posts in 4645 days

#10 posted 08-29-2008 12:34 AM

The finish is all Minwax. First, one coat of Classic Oak, then a coat or two of Sedona Red applied with 000 steel wool. I tried to match the Greene & Greene color from memory. I even had to sand it back down to nothing to start over because it got too dark. The pegs and splines were all Dark Walnut, totally saturated to get as close to ebony as possible. After the staining, I glued the pegs/splines and put five coats of hand rubbed polyurethane over the whole thing. There was a lot of weeping at the pegs, which required constant dabbing for hours. This recipe was given to me by the buddy who commissioned the vanity base. I never would’ve found this on my own, but it’s pretty sweet if you don’t want a dark brownish red. It really showcases the white oak. I’ll use it again, possibly on a side table to go between two Morris bow arm chairs, if I can get the better half to approve the trip to the lumber yard.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View CaptainSkully's profile


1615 posts in 4645 days

#11 posted 08-29-2008 12:37 AM

P.S. Yes, I’m doing a lot of Mackintosh stuff as accent pieces to my work (i.e. pillows with roses in the corners, stained glass, etc.). Greene and Greene is awesome, especially as an accent piece. Their stuff can get a little overwhelming for me in large doses. I was thinking of a G&G table between the Morris bow arm chairs just to mix things up a bit.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

501 posts in 4868 days

#12 posted 08-29-2008 01:08 AM

Great job! The frame design and finish compliment the tiles perfectly.


View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4853 days

#13 posted 08-29-2008 03:55 AM

Gorgeous frame. Thanks for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Bigbuck's profile


1347 posts in 4749 days

#14 posted 08-29-2008 05:56 AM

Very nice, that looks great

-- Glenn, New Mexico

View Bureaucrat's profile


18340 posts in 4738 days

#15 posted 08-30-2008 03:13 AM

I really like that modified scarf joint on the bottom rail. Elegant celebration of a classic joint.

-- Gary D.

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