It’s sleek. It’s curvy. It’s patterned in a way you may never have seen before. It’s made of the same stuff they used to make the famed Gibson Les Paul guitar, even. And better yet—it’s made in California.
The Golden State is tops in so many things (climate, entertainment industry, public universities—University of California Berkeley), but unbelievably stunning custom furniture might just be our best thing.
Just take a look at this exquisite example.
The unique styling. The sculpted lines. The detailed craftsmanship. It’s the curly maple settee, and we’d like about a dozen of them.
Made by Ed Rizzardi, master woodworker and architect of an entire collection of custom works created from his workbench in his Rancho Cucamonga, CA workshop, the 42-inch-wide curly maple settee is handcrafted from this exotic hardwood that affords a pattern resembling tiger stripes. Curly maple is also known as flame maple, ripple maple, or tiger maple for obvious reasons.
The curly, striped, or wave pattern “is a feature of maple in which the growth of the wood fibers is distorted in an undulating chatoyant pattern, producing wavy lines known as ‘flames,’” said Wikipedia. “The distortion is perpendicular to the grain direction.”
Furniture-making using curly maple dating back to 18th century colonial America, according to Wikipedia, chosen for “custom-made furniture, gun stocks, knife handles and musical instruments…because of its hardness, durability and beauty. ”
Curly maple is used to make violins and bassoons, and was also the material of choice for the “venerated Gibson Les Paul. Initially manufactured from 1958 to 1960, (it) sported a flame maple top finished in a cherry-red sunburst on a mahogany body. Today, these instruments are some of the most prized on the vintage guitar market, and as such are unaffordable to most musicians.”
The scarcity of curly maple—not all maple trees can supply the distinct figuring—has also made pieces like the curly maple settee all the more rare. Especially because the distinctive figuring of the wood makes it more difficult to use, requiring the careful hand and eye of highly skilled artist like Rizzardi.
The curly maple settee is one of many handcrafted, heirloom, signed and dated pieces offered by Rizzardi ranging from traditional to contemporary and everything in between (we are also coveting the curly maple rocking chair, the Koa serving cart and the walnut side chair.
Want one for yourself? Visit Ed Rizzardi’s website.