History of Design and Craftsmanship

Roman Ogee Detail

Roman Ogee Detail

The Roman Ogee is a type of woodworking and architectural detail that has been used for centuries to add elegance and sophistication to furniture, trim, and moldings. It is characterized by a classic S-shaped curve that creates a stunning visual effect and adds depth and dimension to any surface.

It was named after the ancient city of Rome, which was renowned for its elaborate architectural and decorative styles. The term “ogee” comes from the French word “ogive,” which means “pointed arch,” a characteristic feature of Gothic architecture.

This profile consists of two curves, one concave and one convex.

Roman Ogee With a Fillet One Version is when a small fillet or ridge connects the two curves creating a small shelf between them.

 Roman Ogee Molding DetailThe other is when the convex curve flows smoothly into the concave curve, creating a graceful, flowing shape that is both beautiful and functional.

These types of profiles are typically used to create decorative edges on furniture, cabinetry, and architectural trim, but they can also be used as a standalone design element.

One of the most significant advantages of the Roman Ogee profile is its versatility. It can be used in various applications, from small-scale woodworking projects to large-scale architectural designs. The profile can be adjusted to create various looks, depending on the depth and width of the curves and the size of the fillet. This versatility allows designers and woodworkers to create custom profiles that are tailored to their specific needs and preferences.

Another advantage is its ability to create visual interest and depth by creating shadow lines, setbacks,s and reveals by varying the radius of the curves and depth of the fillets.   The S-shaped curve creates a dynamic visual effect that draws the eye and adds depth and dimension to any surface. This effect is particularly striking when the profile is used on architectural trim or moldings, where it can create a sense of grandeur and elegance.

Woodworkers and millwork fabricators use specialized tools and techniques specifically designed to create Roman Ogee profiles. These tools may include specialized router bits or molding planes that often come as a set called rounds and coves.

The Roman Ogee will most likely continue to stand the test of time as a working and architectural detail, as it has been used for centuries to add elegance and sophistication to a wide range of projects.

I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.

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