GARY A. LEAKE WOODWORKING
Claro Black Walnut
Occasionally special pieces of rare timbers are so unique that they exhibit natural character; a rhythm of their own…
The basis for this piece of wood art began with the discovery of the magnificent piece of Claro black walnut (Juglans hindsii) that created the top for this work of art. Discovered during English Botanist Richard B. Hinds' 1836-1842 around-the-world voyage, was a new species of black walnut trees growing in southern Oregon and northern California. Claro black walnut is highly prized due to the wide range of vivid colors exhibited within the timber. A very unusual piece of a natural-edged Claro black walnut log was used to create the top surface of the hall table. Numerous long-dead borers and a pair of the original axe cuts revealed on the underside provide a hint of insight into the history of the tree.
The legs and horizontal spreaders have also been fabricated from Claro black walnut that in turn has been ebonized to complement the tabletop. Hand-cut blind mortise-and-tenon joints have been used throughout to add strength and stability to the table. Wedges have been inserted into the rear-leg tenons prior to driving these into their respective mortises (Japanese jigoku-kusabi joinery technique with two hidden wedges per leg) thus locking the legs into the top board.
The table has been hand finished with a durable oil-varnish to highlight the natural color and protect the beautiful character of the black walnut 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.
Dimensions: 10-3/4 inches wide (top; widest), 11-1/4 inches wide (overall), 54-1/2 inches in length, 30 inches in height
Provenance: Published in Lark Books latest book in their 500 series, ‘500 Tables’, page 132.