GARY A. LEAKE WOODWORKING
American Black Walnut with African Zebrawood
Symmetry - the interrelation of parts to form an aesthetically pleasing whole...
The basis for this piece of wood art began with the discovery of the magnificent piece of American black walnut (Juglans nigra) that showed just a teasing hint of the special character that lay underneath the ragged exterior - a very unique combination of wavy vertical and strong oval central grain, excellent chatoyance (opalescence reminiscent of looking into a cat’s eyes) and a natural-edge that retains much of the rustic features of the tree of origin. The lower long spreader has also been fashioned from black walnut.
The matched set of legs and end spreaders have been crafted from a single plank of quarter-sawn zebrawood (Microberlinia brazzavillensis) to complement the color and grain of the table top and lower longitudinal spreader surfaces. Zebrawood represents one of nature's most spectacular timbers with its undulating creamy sapwood leading to honey-brown heartwood thoroughly punctuated by parallel zebra-like stripes comprised of the narrow veins of dark chocolate brown that warrant the naming of this beautiful timber. Zebrawood, also known as zebrano, is a member of the sweet pea family (Leguminoseae) due in part to the orange colored flowers that resemble those of the better-known sweet pea plant.
The hand-tapered legs exhibit a slight taper on the inner surfaces thus complimenting the fine lines of the table while adding a feeling that the table is standing up on its toes a bit. The success of the design depends upon precise hand-fitted blind mortise and tenon joinery (Japanese jigoku-kusabi joinery technique) for attachment of the various pieces to form a sturdy piece that will stand the test of time.
The hall table has been hand finished with a durable oil-varnish to highlight the naturally contrasting range of colors and protect the beautiful patina of the timbers while giving the piece 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 table. This piece has been entered in the artist’s permanent registry.
Provenance: This art table was specifically created for entry into the 53rd Annual Arts Edmonds’ Juried Gallery (2010).
Dimensions: 46-1/2 inches in width, 8 to 9 inches in depth (top), 30 inches in height