GARY A. LEAKE WOODWORKING

 

"Cherry Swirl"

Display Table

Salvaged Bing Cherry with Appalachian Black Cherry

Without exception, every woodworker's dream is to discover a wonderful slab of timber and fashion it into a lovely table...

The Bing cherry (Prunus avium) tabletop timber originally was salvaged from an old fruit orchard located on the east side of Lake Washington. Subsequently the slab traveled to Whidbey Island with the owner's relocation near Coupeville. Years passed as the slab collected dust with others from the same orchard. The artist acquired the slab with no specific design in mind. More time passed, and then finally the imagination of the artist was receptive to the subtle musings of nature as expressed by the slab. To accentuate the lovely teardrop-shaped grain, the slab was resawn into a pair of boards that were then reversed and joined to fashion the top. 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.

The legs and spreaders have been fashioned from highly figured black cherry (Prunus serotina). Each piece of timber has been carefully selected to compliment the overall design as well as the unique character of the tabletop. 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 joinery, double-wedged (two wedges per leg) wedged mortise-and-tenon joints (Japanese jigoku-kusabi joinery technique) have been used for permanent attachment of the rear legs to the upper slab; blind mortise-and-tenon joints have been utilized elsewhere.

The table has been hand finished with a durable oil-varnish to highlight the natural color and protect the beautiful character of the cherry timbers while giving the table a warm feeling to the touch. 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.

Dimensions: 30-1/2 inches in length, 10 inches in width (top);12 inches in width (overall), 31 inches in height