GARY A. LEAKE WOODWORKING
American Bigleaf Maple with American Black Walnut
Occasionally special pieces of rare timbers are so unique that they exhibit their natural character right up front…
The basis for this piece of wood art began with the discovery of the magnificent natural-edged piece of intensely folded curl-grained (also known as tigered or fiddle-backed) American bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) log that was utilized to create the top of this work of art. Balancing the parallel pattern of the grain is exceptional chatoyance (opalescence reminiscent of looking into a cat’s eyes) adding yet another element of interest to the massive top.
The set of three book-matched table legs have been fabricated from a single plank of figured American black walnut (Juglans nigra) that has been specifically selected to contrast with and complement the intense pattern and grain of the upper and lower longitudinal surfaces. Smaller and a bit more subdued pieces of natural-edged American bigleaf maple were selected for the front-leg spreaders and the lower long-spreader to balance the table without distracting from the overall design.
The success of the design and requisite strength to stand the test of time depend upon precise hand-chiseled joints throughout. Blind mortise-and-tenons joints (Japanese jigoku-kusabi joinery technique) have been utilized throughout for permanent attachment of the various components.
The table has been hand finished with a durable finish to highlight the natural color and protect the beautiful character of the maple and black walnut 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: 49-9/16 inches in width, 14-3/8 inches in overall depth, 4-1/2 – 10-1/4 inches in depth (top), 30 inches in height