(c) Copyright 2012 Neil Busby - All Right Reserved
The Amazing Dragon Table
"Have you ever dreamed of something amazing?
Here is a dream that was turned into reality using the talents of renowned dragon artist
Peter Pracownik and well-known specialist furniture designer Neil Busby."
- Keith Savoury (ArtistsUK)
It all started with football. Yes, football, strange as it may sound since you don't usually find football and dragons mentioned in the same breath, fiery or not. A football team might defeat their opponents but they don't usually barbecue them. On the other hand, although a dragon is arguably the prototype for the world's first portable flamethrower and pretty heavily built he probably wouldn't make a good goalkeeper. But, the fact is that there is a certain famous premiership footballer who has a passion for dragons and he decided he wanted to have his dining room based on his favorite theme. Apart from the main motivation of the glory of the game and perfecting one's skills, football in the premier league also has its financial rewards, so he knew he could make his dream come true if only he could find someone he could trust to undertake the project...
Eventually, he found me, Neil Busby, a specialist furniture designer with a repertoire of unique creations based around unusual and innovative ideas. There was no doubt I could do the job except for one slight snag ... I had masses of knowledge about making tables but little idea how to design an authentic dragon. So I went in search of someone who would have access to this field of knowledge. My search, brought me to Artists UK and they confirmed that they knew several artists who know as much about dragons as I do about furniture. Their choice in the end was the internationally renowned artist Peter Pracownik. Not only is he steeped in Celtic lore with a library full of reference books but he had also designed dragons for three dimensional modeling. A project brief was drawn up and then Peter and I sat down together to plan out how it would work. This is how the first sketch of the dragon turned out and pretty amazing it is in its own right.
However, it soon became clear that supporting the huge sheet of glass on four small contact points was not the best so, some revisions to the design were made as shown below.
Once the final details had been worked out it was then down to me to draw up the final plan that would go to the carvers. Shown below are the plans that I drew up based on Peter Pracownik's designs for the dragon dining table and the dragon chair.
I also constructed a place layout showing how the chairs would be arranged round the table with their place settings, as shown below.
Although it is conceivably possible to carve from one piece of timber it is rarely practical with a large project like this so the Dragon was carved in parts and then assembled as you can see from the images to the right.
The next step (below) was to test the design to turn it into a working table. This picture also shows the 12 dining chairs that were also part of the project, notice the winged backs and dragon arms. In the following photo the suite is ready for polishing and finishing touches.
An aged dark polish was applied, and the horns, claws and teeth were gilded
Now there is a photograph below of the dragon table from the back and to one side in the dining room. Here you can really see the stunning craftsmanship of the piece and how realistic and striking the dragon is crouched under the table top.
A View from the front, lets hope he doesn't bite!
Here is the dragon table from the top in the dining room with the full seating of the twelve dragon motif chairs that complement the table.