GARY A. LEAKE WOODWORKING
"The Journey Unfolds" Display Table (Shown with carved Alabaster “Green Face” and “Lavender-Pink Rose” by Alabaster carver Susan Zalkind)
Live-Edge Oregon Black Walnut with American Black Walnut
Circumstances of life, including coming to terms with loss and the need to carry on brought about the purchase of two magnificent Alabaster carved sculptures: ‘Green Face’ and a Rose. Just as the latter sculpture so artistically captured the unfolding of the vivid rose petals, the need to appropriately display the Alabaster sculptures became part of the ‘journey’. Thus a custom table was commissioned and stands before you...
The basis for this piece of wood art began with the discovery of the magnificent natural-edged and book-matched pair of highly figured Oregon black walnut (American black walnut [Juglans nigra] crossed with Claro walnut [Juglans hindsii]) that has been used for the top of the table. Note that the complex character of the walnut slab is due in part to the fact that the top surface includes complex grain, a clearly defined yet curvaceous heartwood –to- sapwood transition, an artsy inclusion, excellent chatoyance (opalescence reminiscent of looking into a cat’s eye) and an intriguing natural edge that retain much of the rustic features of the tree of origin. The straight-cut ends balance the overall shape and proportion of the piece as well as complement the character of the top.
The organic table legs have been fabricated from a single plank of figured American black walnut (Juglans nigra). The legs have been slightly hand-tapered to enhance the swept effect and harmonize with the design lines of the table while adding a feeling that the table is balancing on its toes. Adjustable felt feet allow the table to sit flat and level on uneven floors.
The success of the design depends upon precise hand-chiseled blind wedged (two hidden wedges per leg) mortise-and-tenon joints (Japanese jigoku-kusabi joinery technique) for permanent attachment of all pieces to create a table that will last for generations. Lacking typical under-support, such as spreaders or an apron, this specific joint has been utilized to maximize the strength and stiffness of the table frame.
The table has been hand finished with a durable satin lacquer 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: 42 inches in width, 12 to 16 inches in depth, 32-1/2 inches in height