I delivered a completed piece to a customer and she told me she has something she wanted me to look at. "It" was a slab of one of the most beautiful pieces of wood I'd ever seen. It seems her parents had brought it back from Peru some 30 or 40 years ago as a coffee table. The original base was lost over the years and the original finish stripped.Over the years the wood had developed some checks and cracks, but the beauty of the wood was amazing.
She asked me if I'd like to build another base for it and I told her it would be an honor to work with a piece of wood this beautiful.
The figure is an amazing pattern of swirling grain, curls, burls, and birdseyes.
The base is made from American Black Walnut. I looked at a fair number of designs of similar "natural" pieces and they often had fairly blocky bases - like a slab of wood set on a couple of boards. I decided I wanted a graceful look to the base rather than anything heavy or clunky. The construction is all wedged trhough mortise and tenons. The piece is finished with a tung oil wiping varnish that brought figure out nicely without darkening the wood significantly .
I doubt that I'll come across a piece of wood like this again.
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