Title: “Homage to Nakashima”
Year work was completed: 2014
Form: Dining Table
Materials: Black Walnut and book matched slab Wormy and Spalted Maple
Construction: Mortice and tenons construction for the frame and inset double dovetails or butterflies securing the book matched slabs. The table is finished with 8 hand rubbed coats of a natural resin phenolic varnish and bees wax based paste wax.
Size: 84” Length x 47.5” Width x 29.5” Height
Philosophy: George Nakashima was a Japanese-American woodworker-architect and furniture maker who was one of the leading innovators of 20th century furniture design. He is considered the Father of the American Craft Movement.
This table is a homage to him and carefully mimics Nakashima's signature style of work -- large scale wood tables with smooth slab form tops with live edges. Like his designs, this table consists of multiple slabs connected with butterfly joints, however it pushes the concepts further by adding contrasting walnut that symbolizes the dirt which nourished the tree during its life, carved root like motif symbolizing the roots which supported and fed the tree, and finally the carved rock motif that symbolize the solidness of the earth and the anchors that aided in supporting the tree.
Exhibitions: The Nakashima Table was displayed during a Juried Show at the Delaplaine Arts Center, Frederick, Md. 2014 and the Philadelphia Invitational Furniture Show 2014 and 2016.
Effort: The layout and fabrication of this table required 160 hours to complete and approximately 110 board feet of solid eight quarter American Black Walnut and Wormy Maple lumber was utilized.
Meaning or Importance of Material: Figured maple and American Black Walnut have been used in the production of both urban and rural furniture for nearly 400 years and have been revered for their strength, color, and figure. Walnut has been associated with our ability to use our minds clearly and become focused. It has also been associated with the human breath as well as having been used for the maintenance of health and disease prevention. Maple has been associated with giving of ourselves to others and is considered the tree of offering.