GARY A. LEAKE WOODWORKING

 

"Whirls and Swirls"

Hall Table

Oregon Black Walnut with American Black Walnut and  African Bubinga

A prime example of nature’s extraordinary ability to manifest a complex form from a single plank of what has to be one of the most beautiful and complex pieces of Oregon black walnut that the artist has seen. Thus the name that defines this special work of art...

 

The basis for this piece of wood art began with the discovery of the magnificent slab of natural-edged Oregon black walnut (American black walnut [Juglans nigra] crossed with Claro walnut [Juglans hindsii]) that created the top for this work of art. Though warped and twisted, the timber showed just a teasing hint of the special character that lay underneath the ragged exterior - a very unique combination of wild center and tigered grain wrapped within a gently-curved grain with just enough chatoyance (opalescence reminiscent of looking into a cat’s eyes) to add interest. The lower shelf has been fashioned from a similar piece of this timber.

 

The book-matched table legs, which have been fabricated from a single plank of American black walnut (Juglans nigra), have been ebonized to complement the intense colors found in the tabletop. Though dyed black, the ebonizing technique passed to the artist by his Grandfather (also a cabinet maker/restorer) allows the natural grain of the walnut to be revealed. The short spreaders, also fabricated from American black walnut have been added to balance the overall design.

 

To add strength and stability to the table precise hand-chiseled double-wedged (two exposed African bubinga [Guibourtia demeusei] wedges per joint) mortise-and-tenon joints (Japanese jigoku-kusabi joinery technique) have been used for permanent attachment of the legs to the tabletop. A housed (blind rather than through-tenoned) version of the same double-wedged mortise-and-tenon joint has been utilized to attach the legs to the upper and lower spreaders.

The table has been hand finished with a durable oil-varnish 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.

Dimensions: 57-1/8 inches in width, 13-1/2 inches in depth (max), 30 inches in height