Lorraine Vojack at Custom Floors Unlimited has a passion for bending the rules and doing things that no one else has done before. This year’s Wood Floor of the Year winner for Best Marquetry/Inlays is a fantastic example of Vojack’s creativity and daring – a hand-scribed, live edge, and puzzle-patched chestnut floor.
“I found unsawed chestnut logs that were buried. They had cut off the fallen trees’ limbs, stacked them, and covered them with dirt to make a road to a coal mine. Someone said that they had been buried since the 1920s,” explains Vojack. “I had been searching for chestnut for years, and I knew it was such a special wood. Where are you going to get live edge chestnut these days? I couldn’t let myself have them cut everything straight and lay it.”
Vojack says that she planned to give her client some original art using massive slabs of 1.5” thick wood in a unique way.
“The challenge is scribing one piece to the next piece to the next piece. You lay it all out and then figure out where to cut and where to put in an appropriately sized piece. It’s like putting together a puzzle,” says Vojack.
Another massive challenge was getting the nearly 40-foot logs in the house. Vojack says the house was built around the lumber because there was no other way to get it in the house.
“Was I nervous about this install? It was hard not to be. However, I knew it would be beautiful despite the doubts that others had. I didn’t know how long it would take, but I knew it could be done,” says Vojack. “From start to finish, it ended up taking about six months. People told me I was out of my mind, and there was no way I could pull it off, but I knew I could do it.”
Best in Marquetry/Inlays
CATEGORY DETAILS: Entries in this category include any hand-cut marquetry/intarsia, or inlay featured within a wood floor as a stand-alone feature, inlaid into the floor, or throughout the entire project.
Detail of Finish Process: Puzzle-pieced and patched together. Hand-scraped and hand-scribed.
Installation Type: Glue Down
Flooring Type: Solid, Reclaimed
Flooring Finish: Proprietary
Flooring Sheen: Wax and Satin
Pattern: Scribed, Puzzle-patched
Square Feet: 3,000