Kelton Shoji in Walnut


My client wanted a Japanese-style screen ("shoji") to use as a room divider. We discussed size requirements and looked at many pictures in catalogs, books and the internet. This design was the result.

The client wanted the wood to be as dark as possible, but without staining. Wenge was his first choice, but in the end he chose walnut at less than half the price. It is finished with three coats of a satin polyurethane.

One of the client's requirements was that the screen should look identical from both sides. Therefore there are two lattices instead of one, and the field material is sandwiched between them. The lattices sit in grooves in the panels.

The screen uses double hinges, so the four panels can be arranged in any shape.

Traditional shoji use paper as the field material. More modern (and Western) screens frequently use fiberglass or acrylic. The client was concerned that paper would be too fragile for his purposes, but he didn't like the look of the modern materials. I suggested we use fabric, and he chose the natural muslin you see here.

Normally I would have assembled the panels with glued mortise and tenon joints, but in this case I wanted to make the panels easier to disassemble in case the field material must be replaced. So the panels are held together with screws, which are covered by square pegs. You can just barely see the pegs in this picture - pegs are traditionally of a contrasting wood but the client wanted to use walnut to make them more subtle.
I can make a copy of this shoji for you for as little as $1200 depending on your choice of wood and finish. Please contact me for more information.