Trefoil Arch Stool


Made from high-quality birch plywood.

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About This Arch

Foil comes from the old French word for leaf. In design, a foil is a leaf-like shape created by overlapping circles of the same diameter. Foils are described by their number of lobes. Three lobes is known as a trefoil, four is a quatrefoil, five is a cinquefoil, six is a sexfoil, and eight is an octofoil. A larger number of lobes is usually referred to as a multifoil.

Throughout the Renaissance and Gothic periods, churches and cathedrals used trefoils as a symbol of the Holy Trinity.

Quatrefoils to represent the four Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. In Mesoamerica, quatrefoils symbolized the cosmic central axis and the passageway between the celestial and the underworld.

Drawing Trefoils

Foils are drawn by first creating a curve, usually a circle or an arc. Division points are created on the curve with the number of points indicating the final number of lobes. Equally sized circles are then created on each of the division points. The final geometry can be highlighted to reveal the foil with construction geometry left lightly in the background.

Variation to lobes can be introduced by rounding or pointing. Arches would be then called a rounded trefoil arch or a pointed cinquefoil arch.

Photo is a previous version of this design

Materials & Process

Material: 18mm (3/4″) Birch Plywood (B/BB)

Process: Machine Cut with CNC Wood Router

Finish: Sanded / Satin Poly


Metric: 280mm x 280mm x 450mm

Imperial: 11.02″ x 11.02″ x 17.71″

The Arch Series

Arches were first used to construct underground tunnels, drainage systems, and to span over windows and doorways. These arches could only support small openings as ancient walls were extremely heavy. Pointed arches were different. They allowed for thinner walls to be constructed due to vertical structural loads being carried more efficiently to the ground. Lighter walls meant more windows that could be taller and wider. Indoor spaces subsequently changed from being very dark to very bright. Arches became more decorative over time as structural concerns were easier to overcome. The thirty-two arches in this collections span thousands of years on all continents. You can easily find several types of arch walking around any major city. Arches provided an essential stepping stone in creating the world we live in today.

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