GARY A. LEAKE WOODWORKING
Oregon Black Walnut with American Black Walnut
A prime example of nature’s wonderful ability to manifest a complex form from a single plank of what has to be one of the most beautiful and complex pieces of Oregon black walnut that the artist has seen. Thus the name that defines this special work of art...
The basis for this piece of wood art began with the discovery of the magnificent slab of natural-edged Oregon black walnut (American black walnut [Juglans nigra] crossed with Claro walnut [Juglans hindsii]) that created the top for this work of art. Though weathered, warped and twisted, the timber showed just a teasing hint of the special character that lay underneath the ragged exterior - a very unique combination of wild tiger-grain and tight burl wrapped within a gently-curved grain with excellent chatoyance (opalescence reminiscent of looking into a cat’s eyes) to make touching irresistible. Obviously the superb qualities of the slab dictated the design of this wonderful table.
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 to harmonize with the fine lines of the table while adding a feeling that the table is balancing on its toes. The success of the design depends upon precise hand-chiseled mortise-and-tenon joints (Japanese jigoku-kusabi joinery technique) for permanent attachment of all pieces to create a table that will last for generations.
A smaller and but no more subdued piece of Oregon walnut maple was selected for the lower shelf to add a bit of flash without distracting from the overall design.
The table has been hand finished with a durable teak oil 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 piece. This piece has been entered in the artist’s permanent registry.
Dimensions: 37-1/2 inches in width, 9 to 11-5/8 inches in depth (top), 30 inches in height