GARY A. LEAKE WOODWORKING
"Queen's Gambit "
American Bigleaf Maple (Salvaged - Whidbey Island)with American Black Walnut (Sustainably Sourced) and Rocky Mountain Juniper (Salvaged - Whidbey Island)
The Queen's Gambit is a common and famous opening move. It is also one of the oldest chess openings in which a player seeks to obtain some advantage by sacrificing a pawn or piece. And according the Webster’s Dictionary, a ‘gambit’ is a remark made to open or redirect a conversation…
The basis for this piece of wood art began with the purchase of a lovely chess board and pieces. The owners played with the idea of finding/making a table that would display the board, store the pieces and spark conversation in their home. Through a connection with an Uncle who lives on Whidbey Island, the desire began to take shape in the form of a custom table. A number of natural-edged figured pieces of locally salvaged American bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) were selected for the table top as well as the aprons and drawer front.
The matched set of legs has been fabricated from a single plank of American black walnut (Juglans nigra). The legs have been ebonized to complement the lighter-colored maple as well as highlight the black spaces on the chess board. Though dyed black, the ebonizing technique passed to the artist by his Grandfather (also a cabinet maker/restorer) allows the natural grain and character of the walnut to be revealed. The legs have been hand-tapered on the two inner sides to compliment the fine lines of the table while adding a feeling that the desk is balancing on its toes.
The drawer sides and back have been crafted from salvaged Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum) planks originating from the north end of Whidbey Island. This timber is unique in its marvelous ‘cedar chest’ aroma that permeates the senses. The pieces of juniper have been specifically selected for their grain and color.
The table has been hand finished with a durable finish to highlight the natural color and protect the beautiful character of the timbers while giving the piece a warm feeling to the touch. Note that the inner surfaces of the drawer have been left in their natural, unfinished state to allow the aromatic charm of the juniper to perform its magic.
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: 24 inches in width, 22-5/8 inches in depth, 33 inches in height