GARY A. LEAKE WOODWORKING
African Sapele with American Black Walnut
The substantial tabletop appears to be floating above the base of this special piece of art giving it a bit of an Asian flair…
The basis for this piece of wood art began with the discovery of the magnificent yet narrow piece of natural-edged African bubinga (Guibourtia demeusei) boards that created the top for this work of art. Bubinga is renowned and highly prized for its well-defined ribbon striped dark reddish-brown heartwood framed by contrasting lighter colored sapwood that includes chocolate brown-to-black streaked accents. The character of the aged bubinga tabletop has been enhanced by the spalting (streaked stains caused by bacteria) prior to the sawing of the log.
The entire table base, fabricated from a single plank of 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 and character 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 horizontal long-rails and attachment of the ‘floating’ top to the short upper rails. Through double-wedged mortise-and-tenon joints have been utilized to maximize the strength and stiffness of the under-frame where the short upper rails join with the longer rails. Bubinga 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 bubinga 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. This piece has been entered in the artist’s permanent registry.
Provenance: This art table was specifically created for Woodland Park Zoo’s 34th Annual Jungle Party (2010)
Dimensions: 36 inches in width, 13-1/2 to 16 inches in overall depth (top), 31 inches in height