GARY A. LEAKE WOODWORKING

 

"Dark Beauty"

Table

Ziricote and American Black Walnut

Without exception, every woodworker's dream is to discover wonderful slabs of rare timber and fashion them into a work of art that maximizes the intense character – in this case a unique combination of grain and color that is truly a thing of beauty…

 

The catalyst for this piece of wood art consisted of a pair of slabs of rough ziricote (Cordia alliodora) timber that originated from South America. Though warped, twisted, and checked the timber showed just a hint of the special character that lay underneath the ragged exterior - a very unique combination of highly-figured center grain punctuated with lovely dark brown and black highlights framed in contrast by the uniform lighter sapwood. As the timber was hand worked to fashion the top, the true character of the timber manifested itself and the 3-dimensional aspect of the grain developed. Note that the naturally-arched long-spreader was also fashioned from ziricote to complement the tabletop and overall artistic design.

 

The book-matched table legs and short spreaders have been fabricated from a single plank of highly-figured American black walnut (Juglans nigra) selected to contrast with and complement the intense grain/color of the upper and lower longitudinal surfaces. The legs have been hand-tapered on the two inner sides to compliment the fine 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 joinery for attachment of the various pieces to form a sturdy piece that will stand the test of time. Traditional hand-cut blind mortise-and-tenon joints (Japanese jigoku-kusabi joinery technique) have been used for permanent attachment of the legs and spreaders.

 

The table has been hand finished with a durable oil-varnish to highlight the natural color and protect the beautiful character of the special 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: 38 inches wide, 13-1/4 inches deep (legs), 9-1/4 inches deep (nominal top), 30 inches in height