GARY A. LEAKE WOODWORKING
Appalachian Black Cherry (Sustainable Sourced) and African Sapele
Without exception, every woodworker's dream is to discover a wonderful slab of timber and fashion it into a lovely table... With Michele and John’s assistance, this magnificent slab of highly figured black cherry (Prunus serotina) purchased from a certified sustainable source was transformed into the table standing before you.
The basis for this piece of wood art began with the selection of the black cherry slab to be used for the table top. Properly aged, crafted and finished black cherry timber rivals any other wood in the world for its beauty, stability, durability, pattern and deep patina that will develop over time. A sampling of the varied character so wonderfully exhibited within the timber includes tight clustered birdseye, intense curly figuring, spectacular chatoyance (opalescence reminiscent of looking into a cat’s eyes) and an overall curved bow-tie grain presentation.
Although the bark has been removed some of the natural curved edge has been left. The graceful curves across the ends provide a pleasing balance with the longer sides while visually tying the top form to the base. The geometry of the tabletop curves continues downward through the surfaces of the apron, all of which are curved and under-arched as well.
The apron, spreaders and lower shelf have also been fashioned from highly figured black cherry with a piece of gummy-cherry utilized for the front apron. Each piece of timber has been carefully selected to compliment the overall design as well as the unique character of the tabletop. Providing a bit of contrast, the legs have been fashioned from African sapele (Entandrophragma cylindricum). Sapele is renowned and highly prized for its well-defined ribbon striped coppery-brown heartwood. Finally the legs have been hand-tapered on the two inner sides to add a feeling that the table is standing up on its toes a bit.
Traditional hand-cut blind mortise-and-tenon joints (Japanese jigoku-kusabi joinery technique) have been used for permanent attachment of the legs to the apron and lower spreaders.
The table has been hand finished with a durable oil-varnish to highlight the natural color and protect the beautiful character of the 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 table.
Dimensions: 14 inches wide at the widest point, 61-1/2 inches in length, 31 inches in height