Furniture Master Brian Sargent

Hooked on the basics
“X and Why” mottled Anigre, Swiss pear, hard maple, 30 inches deep, 17 inches wide and 19 inches high
By Bill Truslow

It took 20 years for the seed of this curvilinear design to germinate in the mind of Furniture Master Brian Sargent. The inspiration was planted by the vision of an elliptical chest with six drawers at the 1995 Philadelphia Fine Furniture Show. 

Sargent was intrigued by the challenge, but because of the technical challenges of shaping and fitting wood with curves, he started with this smaller two-drawer piece.

The mottled Anigre wood gives the chest an amazing energy, while a simple touch releases the door to reveal Swiss pear-lined drawers. At the base, copper complements the Swiss pear also around the rim. The overlapping sides conceal its true function, enabling the viewer to simply enjoy the form when closed.

Sargent has been working elliptical shapes into functional pieces all along. Several of his chests are supported by curved legs that suspend the casework for a modern and ethereal look.

Why does he take on such technically challenging designs? “The answer lies in a satisfactorily completed piece of work. My quest now is to find someone who sees the grace and beauty in ‘X and Why’ and is inspired to join me on my journey to create my design for a six-drawer tapered elliptical dresser,” he replies.

Find Sargent’s chest and other masterful works at the annual Furniture Masters Auction in October. About 10 pieces will be auctioned, while remaining pieces on display will be for sale and are representative of the variety of future heirloom furniture that can be commissioned by members of the Furniture Masters organization.

Furniture Masters Portsmouth Gala and Auction
October 4, noon-5 p.m.
Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel
250 Market St., Portsmouth
Design Book, Masters Dinner and live auction, $50

Categories: Local Artisans