Year Work was completed: 2017
Form: A coffee table.
Materials: Locally naturally downed walnut (Juglans nigra) book-matched boards, Richlite Black Diamond made from 100% recycled FSA grade paper, Imitation Gold Leaf, Oil Sizing, and traditional natural resin oil varnish.
Construction: Highly figured solid walnut for the boards forming the top in an elongated book match arrangement. The two boards forming the top are joined with blind tenons. The Black Diamond Richlite panels forms the three vertical supports are both through tenon and tongue and groove joined to the top. The Black Diamond Richlite panel forming the cross stretcher is joined to the legs with 3 slotted/dado joints. The Black Diamond Richlite panels and cross brace are shaped and carved interpreting tree branches, trunks, and bark formations and are gilded with a patinized gold toned metal leaf. The table is coated with 7 layers of a traditional natural resin oil based varnish and polished.
Size: Coffee table- 68” length, 17.75”width, 19” tall
Philosophy: We designed this table to be extremely functional while maximizing the beauty that these two walnut boards poses and to place them in a non-typical book matched orientation. Combining real wood with Black Diamond Richlite panels, which are constructed from 100% recycled FSA certified paper, is our way of acknowledging how important trees are to our world and that all forms of their gift to us should be recognized and utilized to its fullest. The carving on the supports and cross stretcher are an abstracted representation of the shape of trunks and braches as well as the various forms of bark. I used gold toned metal leaf that has been patinized to be multicolored to symbolize the importance of trees to the earth, but also to its human inhabitants. The combination of the wood, which is from a naturally downed tree that we had milled and dried and the Black Diamond Richlite used in the construction of the piece, is considered to follow Leed Gold or Silver Building Practices, Green Practices, and Best Practices.
Exhibitions: The coffee table has its debut at the Baltimore Fine Craft Show, which is part of the Baltimore Art and Antiques Show.
Effort: The layout and fabrication of this table required 110.5 hours to complete.
Meaning or Importance of Material: Black walnut is considered a “masculine” tree but does have some feminine properties as well as being associated with the element of fire and the sun. Culpepper, in his Complete Herbal, writes, “This is a plant of the sun. It is associated with the Gods Vashaan, Zeus, Jupiter, Thor, and Vishnu.
Black walnut is a symbol of confidence and mental wisdom as well as having medicinal properties that are useful in the prevention and treatment of disease. Mentally, the wood has been suggested to project properties directly in line with the expelling suggested by the doctrine of signatures and other sources. It has also been tied to infertility and heath wishes.
Trees are living beings with great power and energy. Native Americans, often referred to trees as the “Standing People.” Each variety of tree has special gift and lesson to share with humankind. Even long after a tree has been cut down and processed to make furniture; it still retains some of its vibrational energy. The lessons of the trees live on among the wood furnishings in our homes.