Friday, February 18, 2011

The Case of the Woodgrain Illusion

I have an interesting tidbit for my readers today.  We have finished work on this beautiful Waterfall Bedroom Set.  The veneer is so intricately put together, we admire it every time we pass it here in the shop.  One interesting thing we have noticed as we pass the set, in that the wood seems to change depth and color as we go by.
If you look at this piece from the left you can see a checkerboard pattern of dark and light.  But then if you look at in from the right the pattern reverses.  If you look at the piece straight on there is no checkerboard pattern at all and the veneer looks even in depth.
This interesting phenomena is called 'Flashing'.  It is caused by the laying down of each piece of veneer in an alternating right-side-up and up-side-down pattern.  The grain then catches the light differently causing one part to look dark, and another to look light.  This can bee seen anytime the veneer is applied with the grain alternating, as can be seen  below.
I think this is pretty neat,  do you?

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