GARY A. LEAKE WOODWORKING

 

"On The Lighter Side"

Hall Table

Oregon Black Walnut with American Black Walnut and Gabon Ebony

A prime example of nature’s extraordinary ability to manifest a complex form from a single plank of what has to be the blondest piece 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 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 a tear-drop shaped grain pattern wrapped within a gently-curved grain, just enough chatoyance (opalescence reminiscent of looking into a cat’s eyes) to add interest and damage caused by long-dead borers that retains much of the rustic features of the tree of origin. Gabon ebony (Diospyrus crassiflora) considered as the blackest of all ebonies has been utilized for the butterfly keys that stabilize areas that could otherwise further crack or split.

The book-matched table legs, which have been fabricated from a single plank of American black walnut (Juglans nigra), 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 walnut to be revealed. The three under-arched lower horizontal spreaders have been fashioned from Oregon black walnut, thus balancing the overall design. Hand-cut mortise and tenon joints (Japanese jigoku-kusabi joinery technique) have been used throughout to add strength and stability to the table.

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 piece.

Dimensions: 43-1/4 inches in width, 12-1/2 inches in depth, 30 inches in height