Simple and strong, the mortise and tenon joint has been used for a millennium by woodworkers around the world to join two pieces of wood, most often at an angle close to 90°. Although there are many variations on the theme, the basic idea is that the end of one of the members is inserted into a hole cut in the other member. The end of the first member is called the tenon, and it is usually narrowed with respect to the rest of the piece. The hole in the second member is called the mortise. The joint may be glued, pinned, or wedged to lock it in place. In China, the joints were traditionally made to fit together without the use of glue, and allowed for the natural expansion and contraction of wood in different temperatures. Owing to a long-standing Chinese influence, this principle can be found in many Indonesian structures as well.
Most of our teak and rosewood pieces have a variety of “patches” which come in different shapes and sizes. These are a mark of our craftsmen’s ingenuity and a part of the unique character and individuality of our furniture. Each table, chair, stool, or cabinet we make is constructed by hand predominately from reclaimed materials. Usually these materials will have some wear and tear associated due to their “first life” use in other, non-furniture applications (floorboards, rafters, warehouse beams, telephone poles, rail-road ties, etc.). As a way to achieve smoothness and consistency of texture without sacrificing large portions of usable wood, our carpenters cut out the area around nail holes, divots, hollow knots, and other structural imperfections and replace them with expertly cut patches that can be planed and sanded along with the rest of the board. This process is an integral part of Javanese furniture making culture, minimising waste, and is of crucial importance in our policy of using sustainable materials.