Cherry sideboard made from traditional ’shop sawn’ veneer. Unlike the low-quality associated with contemporary paper-thin commercial veneer, traditional veneer was once considered the highest art form in European furniture making. The French word for cabinetmaker, ébéniste, refers to the African wood, ebony, as well as veneering, the process of applying a thin layer of wood to the surface of a piece of furniture. Special woods were cut by hand into thin slices several millimetres thick. These sheets of veneer are joined seamlessly together using handplanes before being glued to a high end plywood. Veneering allows for visual images and designs that would not otherwise be possible in solid wood.