My Favourite Wooden Object

Two Chests of Drawers

Ingrid Petit

I was teaching at London Metropolitan University when it moved from its Whitechapel home and the architecture school auctioned off some of the creative workshop furniture and woodworking equipment. Impulsively, I bid for two sets of wooden drawers. These now support a sheet of ply, comprising my desk at home.

The chests are not exquisite works of carpentry. But they are utilitarian pieces of furniture with drawers of varying depths and a door concealing adjustable shelves, pre-empting the size and organisation of stored contents. In contrast to the worn warmth of the wood, simple steel D-handles and tag holders enable simple access and a taxonomy of beholden curiosities.

I might have sanded and revarnished them, though to do so would erase the years of activity they have endured and facilitated. I am intrigued by their patina of craft, scarred through creative endeavour, discernible as I work. As I discover scratches, paint droplets and other marks, I recall the instrument-making course which sadly closed as the University moved.  

Ingrid Petit, Associate, Feilden Fowles