GARY A. LEAKE WOODWORKING
"On the Move"
Oregon Black Walnut with American Black Walnut and Cocobolo
One look at the wildly curvaceous grain leads the viewer to believe that there just might be physical movement within the timber, thus providing a hint as to the name that defines this special piece of art...
The basis for this piece of wood art began with the discovery of a magnificent piece 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. Oregon black walnut is highly prized due to the wide range of vivid colors exhibited within the timber. The character of this particular board includes a marvelous combination of well-defined, very dark reddish-brown heartwood framed by contrasting lighter colored sapwood; superb burls; wavy vertical grain; randomly spaced cross-grain tigering; a superb live edge that shows off the rustic features of the tree of origin; and exceptional chatoyance (opalescence reminiscent of looking into a cat’s eyes). The curved ends balance the overall shape and proportion of the piece as well as complement the character of the top. The upper edges have been hand beveled to highlight the striking sapwood. The lower long spreader has also been fashioned from an equally stunning piece of Oregon black walnut thus completing the design.
The book-matched set of legs has 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 longitudinal surface. The hand-tapered legs exhibit a slight taper on the inner surfaces thus complimenting the fine lines of the table while adding an element of formality and a feeling that the table is standing up on its toes a bit. Oregon black walnut was also used for the short spreaders. A small piece of cocobolo (Dalbergia retusa) timber that originated from Central America was utilized for the dark contrasting butterfly key to artistically stabilize a split near one end of the tabletop.
The success of the design depends upon precise hand-chiseled blind mortise-and-tenon joints (Japanese jigoku-kusabi joinery technique) for permanent attachment of all pieces to create a table that will last for generations.
The table has been hand finished with a durable satin lacquer and 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. This piece has been entered in the artist’s permanent registry.
Dimensions: 37-7/8 inches in width, 6 to 10 inches in depth (top), 12 inches in depth (overall), 30 inches in height