GARY A. LEAKE WOODWORKING
Appalachian Black Cherry with Stained Glass
Imagine the splendor and serenity of water lilies floating in a quiet waterway on a sunny day…
In ancient times our ancestors were amazed to see that rains to normally arid areas brought the return of splendid blooms of water lilies soon after. The water lilies were anticipated as they were viewed as a symbol of immortality by many people. The ancient Egyptians even worshipped one type of water lily, the sacred lotus. The mystery and myth of the lilies is further enhanced by the unusual daily routine of the flowers: they remain closed during the coolness of the morning, open around noon to show their glorious beauty and colors, and then sink below the water surface as they close in the evening.
The design incorporates a stained glass interpretation of a series of water lily leaves (‘pads’) and flowers. Thirty five individual pieces of glass have been cut and assembled into two panels to execute the images. The colors can best be viewed when the table is placed where unfiltered sunlight passes through the glass.
The black cherry (Prunus serotina) tabletop slab was acquired almost a decade ago from a sustainably-managed Appalachian source. The artist acquired the highly-figured crotch slab with no specific design in mind, but finally the imagination of the artist was receptive to the subtle musings of nature as expressed by the slab. The result stands before you as unrivaled beauty.
The book-matched legs and lower spreaders have also been fashioned from highly figured black cherry carefully selected to compliment the overall design as well as the unique character of the tabletop. The legs have been hand-tapered to compliment the fine curved lines of the table while adding a feeling that the table is standing up on its toes a bit. The success of the design depends upon precise hand-chiseled blind mortise-and-tenon joints (Japanese jigoku-kusabi joinery technique) for permanent attachment of all pieces to create a table that will last for generations.
The table has been hand finished to highlight the natural color and protect the beautiful character of the cherry timbers while giving the table a warm feeling to the touch. Properly aged, crafted and finished cherry timber rivals any other wood in the world for its stability, durability, pattern and deep patina that will develop over time. This character will intensify over time, as cherry tends to darken and the grain gains more depth as it ages.
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.
Dimensions: 41-1/2 inches in width, 10-1/2 to 18 inches in depth, 31 inches in height