I have a thing for clawfooted furniture. It is oddly escapist for me. It is in my remodeling plans, but I lust over the idea of having a clawfoot tub — a single slipper bisque beauty for my bathroom that I can sink myself into with a good book. Like the one pictured here:
I am lucky enough to own a unique piece of furniture-art that my talented woodworking dad made for me in 1995. A year before I graduated high school. He made it out of exotic woods and the top is a laminate set in Purpleheart wood. The seat is an old refinished piano seat and he carved for it clawed feet, whose toenails he painted to match the Purpleheart. This is where I sit and do all of my drawings. I love this desk and it has plenty of room for all of my tools – and I have many different tools and multiple light sources.
FUNNY STORY: Several months ago my niece was over for a visit. Her 2 year-old daughter, Sylvia, was with her. Sylvia was very curious and this was the first time she was able to totter around and explore our loft. She walked into the studio room where the desk was and then turned around and came out in a panic. She saw the clawed feet and thought the desk was a creature or monster and she was scared of it. I still laugh about that.
The other clawed foot craft that my dad and husband recently made is a wooden wine holder. I sketched out what I wanted and they brought it to life, using old hardware and some metal clawed feet.
There is something cool and creepy in anthropomorphic furniture, but it is a constant reminder to keep a vivid imagination. The Victorian era is best known for the “claws”…an irony in that cordial politeness and status quo were also embodied in this staunchly role-driven era.
Perhaps where there was repressed expression, the creaturelike details were a manifestation of feelings that couldn’t be verbally stated.