It has been a busy summer.
Getting ready for the fall craft sales season, preparing commissions for clients, and teaching many seminars at Lee Valley tools has made it challenging to remember little things like keeping the website up to date.
My biggest recent project was a beautiful dining room side table for a client: it was made from a stunning waterfall bubinga slab with a solid cherry table base and wenge drawer fronts. What I love about summer woodworking is the opportunity to work on the project in the sunshine and fresh air. It also makes my wife happier because the finishing oil work is done outside 🙂
Taking pictures of the project in the client’s home was a severe challenge. The room’s walls are blue and it really shifted the colour of the wood in the photos.
My wonderful clients Heather and Chad recently had a dinner party and took a moment to capture pictures of their new dining room table and chairs I recently delivered.
Solid cherry tabletop made from recovered cherry trees that fell during the ice storm, and carefully dried, stored, and protected until they found their home. Heather, Chad, and I went through my wood pile selecting each board so that we had the right combination of boards that met Heathers love of color, and Chad’s desire for texture.
Each board that formed up the tabletop was carefully joined together with a strip of wenge (a beautiful exotic hardwood) inserted on a shallow curve following the bark line of each board. The goal was a table that would be beautiful as a daily use table, but would also work beautifully for special occasions. A lightweight but solid trestle frame made from Ottawa Valley maple gets the legs away from the corners and eliminates stubbed toes, it also maximizes the number of people that can sit around the table.
Heather, Chad, and I worked together to polish a fine furniture finishing oil made by a German company, Livos. Not only does it bring out the grain and texture of the wood, it also provides a fantastically robust surface for a table top.
When it came to the chairs, Heather and Chad wanted something special too. I sketched designs, passed them over by photo and chat, and we went back and forth to identify the perfect design.
Heather has a fantastic taste in color and design and chose a beautiful fabric for the upholstery. Each seat back is made from carefully bent laminated wenge and steam bent cherry. The rear legs of each chair are made from laminated cherry and wenge strips. Each seat is set up on a beautiful 4 degree angle for maximum comfort. The front legs are made from solid straight grained cherry, with a subtle taper, with a single cherry board used to form a continuous wrapped grain all around the seat. Heather and I then collaborated on the upholstery to wrap her fine fabric choice around a comfortable jute, foam and quilt batted seat. Each chair was then tuned for perfect balance and comfort, setting the recline angle just right for comfort while eating while also being just right for an evening of conversation and fine wine.
In the end, a beautiful room full of furniture (this picture was shot with a wide-angle lens, so the chairs are a little distorted on the fringes.