Monday, August 24, 2009

Cool Console #2 - Kawai

I love this little Kawai console, with its vertical plain-stripe walnut veneer.  The furniture style, called "continental," features no front legs, flat sides, a large, broad bottom board, and a plain front board that angles back to a narrow top.  The lid is hinged in back.  It would be more traditional to have only two pedals, but the American market demands three.  It was built by Kawai in Japan in 1983.  This console model was a very successful model for Kawai, and it is a lovely little instrument.

I had never seen one of these with this kind of veneer before.  Usually vertical stripe veneer is used as an accent on small horizontal elements, not across the entire piano.  It is not everyone's cup of tea, but I think it works adorably with the style.  The stripes come from how the wood is cut to make the veneer.  The cut is called a quarter cut (or the wood is said to be quarter-sawn), which means that the cut is 90 degrees to the grain, along or parallel to the tree's radius.  You can see that it takes five pieces to cover the width of the piano.