Title: “Abstract Organic Expressionism™ 1, 2, 3”
Year Work was completed: 2014
Forms: A coffee table with matching left and right specific end tables.
Materials: Locally, naturally downed, walnut (Juglans nigra) solids and custom sawed veneer from both the downed tree as well as nearly 30 years of collecting typical non-usable highly figured pieces of walnut.
Construction: Solid walnut for frames and legs, hand cut mortise and tenons, ship-lap, and sliding dovetails for the frames, specially sawed 1/8” veneer for the tops. The tops of the two end tables are essentially book matched veneer placement with some variances while the top of the coffee table has a book matched placement of veneers similar to that used for the end tables, thereby creating a sense of unity between the three pieces.
Size: Coffee table- 61” length, 22”width, 20” tall; End tables- 30” length, 22 1/4” width, 24” tall
Philosophy: We designed these pieces to work as a group and express unity between them while utilizing carving details to create individualism between them. The use of old stock and that from naturally downed trees is very important in our production as well as to utilize the naturally occurring figure and grain characteristics of the wood including what would have been considered non-usable portion of the tree such as the sapwood, areas of defects, etc. in the layout and production. The carving on these pieces relates to the naturally occurring bark and branch areas of the tree. The wood used in the construction of the piece is all “old stock” from figured cut offs that we have saved for upwards of 30 years and the solid walnut was from a naturally downed tree that we had milled and tried, so it is considered to follow Leed Building Practices, Green Practices, and Best Practices. There are over 10 hand rubbed layer of a natural resin oil based spirit varnish with 3 layers of hand rubbed imported bees wax based paste wax.
Exhibitions: The coffee table was displayed during a Juried Show at the Delaplaine Arts Center, Frederick, Md. 2015; Philadelphia Invitational Furniture Show 2014 and 2016; The Western Design Conference 2016; and Harker and Associates Gallery 2016 and 2017. The group is featured in the book entitled “Rooted Creating a Sense of Place Contemporary Studio Furniture” published by Schiffer Publishing Company 2015.
Effort: The layout and fabrication of these tables required 260 hours to complete and approximately 60 board feet of walnut lumber including the re-sawed veneer.
Meaning or Importance of Material: The meaning of the various woods used varies within the communities and cultures where the trees grow and are harvested. Many of the exotic woods have been revered their figured grain and color by furniture makers for 100’s of years. American Black Walnut has been a prized wood for furniture makers in America from the 17th century to the present for its beauty and strength. The species Juglans has its roots in ancient texts to “Jovis Glans” translated it means, the nut of Jupiter. Spiritually, Black Walnut is considered to be masculine and the tree is often associated with the energies of Fire and the Sun. The leaves, bark, and various potions of the nut shell and fruit have been used for centuries and by many cultures and native peoples for their medicinal properties, culinary delights, and energetic benefits.
The use of small fragments and solid wood of “old stock” means that we are not promoting the harvesting of live trees and in many case is in compliance with LEED certifications