It’s impressive how a major league outfielder can run full tilt to snag a fly ball without crashing into the home run fence. A big part of the feat is the fact that the outfield has that narrow strip, the warning track that allows the fielder to know that the wall is just a few steps away. If you think about it the warning track is a relatively small element compared to an entire baseball outfield. It’s just a narrow band that separates the outfield from the fence and the stadium seats rising up behind it.
I’ve been writing a few posts about using a simple bead or a small filet or fascia as a separator to help divide up a furniture design visually. In many cases these design ideas have application on several levels. Often we can see the same concepts applied on a macro scale or a micro scale. This translates into the visual image as seen from a distance, then as we draw closer, and finally the close up detail. In earlier posts I wrote about using a bead or fillet to separate major elements in a form such as making a capital distinct from a column shaft, or using a bead to suggest a shadow of a base at the bottom of a table leg. Also looked at how a bead could help us separate a bank of drawers on a chest front. That would be an example of using separation on a minor element or something that would be noticed as we draw closer. Finally we use fillets and beads to separate elements on a micro scale or up close.
We use small fillets and beads in molding combinations to separate different molding shapes. A small fillet or fascia is a natural choice because the flat vertical surface will reflect light in a strong monotone and usually will contrast with an adjacent surface that is curved such as a cove, cyma recta, or Ovolo. The bead also works visually as a separator because the recesses where the edges of the bead sink back into the surface creates shadow lines. Often molding combinations are assembled with major and minor elements and a bead or fillet separates those elements, yet still allows them to compliment one another.