GARY A. LEAKE WOODWORKING
African Sapele with American Black Walnut
The petite tabletop appears to be floating above the base of this special piece of art…
The basis for this piece of wood art began with the discovery of the magnificent yet narrow piece of natural-edged African sapele (Entandrophragma cylindricum) that created the top for this work of art. Sapele is renowned and highly prized for its well-defined ribbon striped dark reddish-brown heartwood framed by contrasting lighter colored sapwood that includes gray-to-black streaked accents. The character of the aged sapele tabletop has been enhanced by the impact of the long-dead woodborers and streaked stains caused by bacteria prior to the sawing of the log.
The table base, which has been fabricated from American black walnut (Juglans nigra), has been ebonized to complement the tabletop. Though dyed black, the ebonizing technique passed to the artist by his Grandfather (also a cabinet maker/restorer) allows the natural grain of the walnut to be revealed.
The success of the design depends upon precise hand-chiseled blind double-wedged (two hidden wedges per leg) mortise-and-tenon joints (Japanese jigoku-kusabi joinery technique) for permanent attachment of the legs to the upper slab. Through double-wedged mortise-and-tenon joints have been utilized to maximize the strength and stiffness of the under-frame. Sapele has been utilized for the exposed wedges in the through tenons.
The table has been hand finished with a durable oil-varnish to highlight the natural color and protect the beautiful character of the sapele and black walnut timbers while giving the table a warm feeling to the touch.
As with all of his wood art pieces the title of the piece, creation date and artist information has been permanently stamped on the underside of the piece.
Dimensions: 29-5/8 inches in width, 12-13 inches in overall depth (top), 31 inches in height