Some designers methodically plan and calculate their work from start to finish. Sometimes, happy accidents lead to unexpected results. For furniture maker Chris Kubash, both approaches brought him to his handmade end table, Wormhole to Another Plane.
“I started sketching and working various shapes, and I finally stumbled on this idea,” he says. Playing around with curved and linear shapes and lines, ovals, rectangles and curves, he took drawings from his notebook to 3-D visualizations in Google SketchUp and then meticulously constructed the table by hand. As a former electrical engineer and a woodworker, Kubash blends logic and creativity easily.
The concept further evolved once he selected curly maple for the tabletop and discovered it had a small wormhole. “It looked like a little flaw or defect – this perfectly straight, little tiny hole,” he says. Instead of starting over, he embraced the small detail and made it the table’s main idea.
“Once I had the whole wormhole idea, it became all about outer space,” says Kubash. The oval tabletop represents the shape of a planet’s orbit, while the curved accent pieces speak to how gravity curves light. A large back panel, essentially the table’s leg, is “reminiscent of the monolith from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey,” he explains.
Kubash has designed everything from tables, beds and mirror frames to columns and bookcases. He believes handmade furniture should serve both a practical and an artistic purpose. He doesn’t typically stain his wood and he hand-planes the surfaces whenever possible in order to highlight the wood’s natural characteristics.
“Wood improves with age,” he says. “I want to build things that have a real permanence and can be seen as nice works of art.”