Sometimes the story behind a piece of furniture is as evocative as the end result. Craftsman Nico Yektai let his Curved Dovetail Console Table evolve from various artistic conundrums and self-imposed challenges. In pursuit of a different way to deliver clamp pressure for bent laminations, Yektai developed a system that uses an impact wrench to mechanically tighten clamps. While testing the process, the designer envisioned an asymmetrical console table using curved dovetails. As if that were not enough in the way of aesthetic limitations, Yektai also sought to incorporate a short piece of glass he had in his studio.
Curved Dovetail Console Table. Designed and constructed by Nico Yektai.
Asymmetrical Console Table with Unique Woodworking and Creative Construction
The result is the sculptural equivalent of the linguistic play involved in the OULIPO group, which invoked mathematical formulas and other constraints to develop writing (a famous example is Georges Perec's A Void, a novel that does not contain any e's). By relying on artistic and construction restrictions, Yektai forced himself to create something unexpected. He likens the generative process to landscape, since his "approach blurs the line between design and sculpture." Yektai's Curved Dovetail Console Table displays his amazing joinery skills. As the title of the piece indicates, the table uses curved dovetails; Yektai arrives at the shapes spontaneously, shaping and refining in steps, much as a painter would apply oil in layers. The result is complex and sinuous: the pins fit against the tails beautifully-the expressionistic joinery looks like a pair of intertwined hands.
The Curved Dovetail Console Table measures 38"H x 70"W x 15"D and is constructed of Sapele wood (a tropical African tree with a likeness to mahogany) and glass. Yektai achieves its rich color using "a chemical that emulates years of patina." The materials somewhat dictate the resulting piece, although Yektai sketched the basic shape of the table before beginning construction. Changes happen throughout the fabrication, because the designer believes in letting the furniture evolve as he builds-"the result is that I am deeply involved with every piece I make and the resulting piece captures a snapshot of this intimate relationship," Yektai explains.
About the Designer: Nico Yektai was born in Iran, during his parents' visit to the country of his father's birth, and raised in New York City. As the child of artistic parents (an artist/poet and writer), Yektai eventually followed in their footsteps, majoring in Art History at Hobart College. Later he attended the School Of American Craft at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester New York, where he earned his MFA. The designer started his own studio in 1995 on Long Island.