Making Ends Meet
This is an idea for an architectural arch feature, where the decorative qualities are also the structural strength of the design.
It requires the employment of a boat building technique to make, and although some some thought needs to be given to the initial layout design, is easy to assemble once cut to shape, and install.
It is, in essence, two long beams of wood which each begin to taper where you intend the curve of the arch to begin, and the one fitted on top of the other with the tapers in opposing directions, so they together create one long rectangular beam, like two wooden wedges that are interlocked with teeth and receptor slots.
This is then bent using the damp and heat timber bending method used in boat yards to bend hull planks to the arch shape and placed in position.
The thick ends supply the weight which will pull the thinner ends of the opposing beam down into shape, and these thinner ends are flexible and progressively pliant enough along their length to be bent into shape... At the thinnest points, hook shapes are cut so that the thinnest point grasps the thick part of the beam it is attached to, pulling against the weight of it's own thicker end, so it doesn't fling out and straighten itself up once attached.
The teeth of the inside beam are cut to dimensions allowing for the fact that once bent, they will expand along the curve of the arch, and be gripped by the slots cut to receive them on the inside of the outer beam, which are cut slightly wider, and so allowing for the compression of these slots on the teeth. So each beam grips the other as it is bent to the arch shape, and held there at each end by the weight of the thick ends.I imagine a more decorative tooth and slot arrangement than I have had time to illustrate, such as a vine, or tree branch and leaf design, or floral pattern, giving the impression of two trees pulled one over the other and anchored, each toward the base of the other... and if one of the beams is dark wood, and the other lighter wood, I think it would make a striking contrast for a beautifully crafted door frame or even just an archway in a wall.