Sneak Peeks: Wooden Illusions

January 25, 2012

By Jared Ainscough

I’ve been raving about wood in my last few posts–and I’m sure you are all tired of hearing about it–but Silas Kopf is a little different than your average woodworker. He is a trained furniture maker who can craft beautiful pieces with a masterful attention to detail. But there are a few things that separate Kopf from all other furniture makers today. The obvious difference is his marquetry work. If you research marquetry furniture (the art of using different pieces of veneer to create a large surface) you will immediately come across Kopf’s name. He is a modern master of the technique. After receiving the Craftsman’s Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, he studied marquetry methods at the École Boulle in Paris. Most marquetry that I’ve come across can look heavy-handed, but Kopf’s work is incredibly subtle and smooth. His patience and craftsmanship give every piece a life-like quality.

You would assume that after years of training in a time-honored craft, Kopf would have an uptight, unapproachable attitude about his art form, but you could be no further from the truth. What truly sets Kopf apart from his contemporaries is his sense of humor. Many of his pieces pair hours of painstaking marquetry with a simple visual pun. The contrast adds to the irony, and Kopf always gets the last laugh.

See more of Kopf’s work in the Artistry department of our March/April issue.

Cognac Cabinet, by Silas Kopf

Silas Kopf Self Portrait, by Silas Kopf

Floral cabinet by Silas Kopf

Bad Hare Day, by Silas Kopf