GARY A. LEAKE WOODWORKING

 

"Blue Isle"

Hall Table

Whidbey Island’s American Bigleaf Maple with American Black Walnut and Stained Glass

Imagine a deep blue lake perfectly situated among nature’s wildest wood grains that completes the fantasy of a blue isle…

The basis for this piece of wood art began with the discovery of the magnificent slab of Whidbey Island’s finest American bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) that created the top for this work of art. Though warped and twisted the timber showed just a teasing hint of the special character that lay underneath the ragged exterior - a marvelous combination of burls, cluster birdseye, wavy vertical grain and randomly spaced cross-grain tigering that stand as a testimony of the tree’s long life. The natural edges of the front and the central void have been retained to enhance the design.

The book-matched table legs have been fabricated from a single plank of American black walnut (Juglans nigra) selected to contrast with and complement the intense color/grain of the upper and lower longitudinal surfaces. The legs have been hand-tapered on the two inner sides 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 overall design depends upon precise hand-chiseled blind mortise-and-tenon joints (Japanese jigoku-kusabi joinery technique) for permanent attachment of all joints throughout. A housed half blind stub-tenon style joint (Japanese kakushi-mechigai-tsugi joinery technique) has been utilized to set the front legs into the tabletop.

A smaller and but no more subdued piece of American bigleaf maple was selected for the lower long spreader to add a bit of flash below the waistline without distracting from the overall design.

The intense blue inset is the result of layers of stained glass placed over a piece of mirrored glass. The intent is to approximate the artist’s first impression when viewing into Oregon’s Crater Lake many years ago.

The table has been hand finished to highlight the natural color and protect the beautiful character of the timbers while giving the piece 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.

Dimensions: 38-1/4 inches in width, 9 to 14 inches in depth (top), 31 inches in height