Monday, May 5, 2014

Bell-Curve Table Wear

The restaurant table above has a polished tile center that is bordered with mitered wood trim. These wooden borders seem to have been installed a little proud of the tile center. Plates and silverware set in front of a seated diner have repeatedly sanded down the proud edge of the trim to more smoothly match the level of the tile center. This can be seen as the vertical, lighter region of the trim where it meets the tile center. Plates, silverware, cups, glasses, etc. are most often placed along the center of the edge, causing much more repeated sanding of the center of the trim. This can be seen in the broader, lighter colored wooden edge next to the tile. Less often, table settings are placed to the left or right of the diner (bottom and top in this picture). This is results in less wear on the trim and the progressively narrowing of the lighter sanded area next to the tile center. What results is a broad, bell-shaped patten of the frequency of wear: more wear in the center, less on the edges.

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