What is the meaning of the furniture term Spiral Turning?

Spiral turning refers to a decorative technique used in woodworking during the 17th century, particularly in the construction of chair and table legs. It involved creating a twisted, spiral design by turning the wooden piece on a lathe.

The process of spiral turning started with a cylindrical wooden leg. The craftsman would use a lathe, a machine that rotates the wood at high speed, and a sharp cutting tool to shape the leg.

To create the spiral design, the craftsman would carefully carve grooves or flutes around the legs circumference. These grooves would typically run in a helical pattern, forming a continuous spiral from top to bottom. The depth and spacing of the grooves varied depending on the desired design.

Once the grooves were carved, the craftsman would smooth the legs surface using sandpaper or other finishing techniques. This step ensured that the spirals were sharp and well-defined, adding an elegant and visually striking element to the piece of furniture.

Spiral turning became popular during the 17th century as a way to enhance the aesthetic appeal of chairs, tables, and other furniture. It was particularly favored during the Baroque and Rococo periods, as it added a sense of movement and dynamism to the overall design.

This technique required great skill and precision, as creating symmetrical and evenly spaced spirals was challenging. Skilled woodworkers and artisans who specialized in turning would have been responsible for producing these intricate designs.

Today, spiral turning is considered a highly valued form of craftsmanship and is often associated with antique furniture. Its intricate and delicate nature continues to be admired by collectors and enthusiasts of traditional woodworking techniques.
Previous term: Spiral Evolute Next term: Splad

Copyright 2024 - Furniture Glossary. All rights reserved.