GARY A. LEAKE WOODWORKING
Ziricote with Appalachian Black Cherry
Without exception, every woodworker's dream is to discover a wonderful slab of rare timber and fashion it into a work of art that maximizes the intense character - in this case grain/color reminiscent of wild wave action of dark water…
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-blond 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 table legs and short spreaders, which have been fabricated from a single plank of black cherry (Prunus serotina), have been ebonized to complement the intense colors found in the tabletop. Though dyed black, the ebonizing technique passed to the artist by his Grandfather (also a cabinet maker/restorer) allows the natural grain of the cherry to be revealed. 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 design depends upon precise joinery for attachment of the various pieces to form a sturdy piece that will stand the test of time.
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: 40 inches wide, 13-3/4 inches deep (legs), 9-1/4 inches deep (nominal top), 30 inches in height
Provenance: 1st place 3-D, 2008 Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival