GARY A. LEAKE WOODWORKING
American Bigleaf Maple
A petite slab called for a three-legged design with a twist – the front leg would be adjustable…
The basis for this piece of wood art began with the discovery of the small yet magnificent piece of natural-edged American bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) that was used to create the top of the table. Though rough the timber showed a teasing hint of the special character that lay underneath the ragged exterior - a marvelous combination of 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 lower long spreader has also been fashioned from an equally stunning piece of maple thus completing the design.
The book-matched table legs have been fabricated from a single plank of African sapele (Entandrophragma cylindricum) that has been specifically selected to contrast with and complement the intense pattern and grain of the upper and lower longitudinal surfaces. The hand-tapered legs exhibit a slight taper on the inner sides to compliment the fine lines of the table while adding a feeling that the table is balancing on its toes. A combination of dark (sapele) and lighter (maple) woods has been used to form artistic and functional hinges. Hardened flange bolts lock the position of the front leg as desired.
The success of the design depends upon precise hand-chiseled blind mortise-and-tenon joints (Japanese jigoku-kusabi joinery technique) for permanent attachment of the legs and spreaders.
The piece 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. 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: 34-5/8 inches in width, 15 inches in depth (maximum), 4 to 11-1/2 inches in depth (top), 30 inches in height