Here is a new console table in carved cherry with a curly maple top. I sold this one of a kind table in September at the annual Vermont Fine Furniture and Woodworking Festival in Woodstock, Vermont. It now resides in a home in Hanover, New Hampshire. The table also won a Second Place Award (for custom studio furniture) in the annual Vermont Fine Furniture and Wood Products Design Competition, held at the festival. The curly maple is Vermont sugar maple (hard maple), and the cherry is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified sustainably harvested.
(click images to enlarge)
Console Table in Carved Cherry with Curly Maple Top, 33″ high x 58.5″ wide x 15″ deep
Curly Vermont sugar maple table top
I built this console table earlier this year for a gallery exhibit at the Helen Day Art Center, in Stowe, Vermont. But I had originally designed it back in 1999, when I built a smaller entryway table that had a similar base, but only a single carved column. In the designs for that piece, I had sketches for several variations, including this one, with the two symmetrical carved forms. Last winter I came across this design in some of my old sketch books, and decided it was time to build it.
Award winning table at the 2013 Vermont Fine Furniture and Wood Products Design Competition
The cherry has a Danish oil finish, to bring out the depth and warmth of the cherry wood. The curly maple has a clear poly varnish finish, to keep the maple as white as possible, and also to make the curly figure really pop out and have more visual depth. Building up multiple coats of clear varnish on figured wood helps to accentuate an effect called chatoyance, which makes the undulating grain of curly maple look like 3-dimensional ruffled satin. It is an effect that I love to incorporate into my work through the use of figured maple, and the best part is some of the very best figured maple grows right here in Vermont! Curly maple is Vermont’s own native and sustainable exotic wood.
I am in constant awe of the sugar maple tree, for its beautiful foliage color in autumn, it’s excellent warmth as a heat source for my home in winter, it’s sweet delicacy of maple syrup, and it’s amazing grain, working proporties and durability for furniture.
And since some people ask, I do all of my carving by hand, with a combination of hand tools and hand-held power tools. I do not use a CNC (computer-numeric-controlled) robotic router to do my work. Also, I do all of my drawings and design work by hand, with a pencil and paper. I’m an old-school designer. There’s something about the free movement and flow of the hand and the arm that I like when drawing curves large and full scale. I also like being able to step back and see a design full scale on paper; it’s easier to get a sense of a design and it’s proportions that way, vs. viewing a tiny version of it on a computer screen. I know in this day and age of computer aided design (and computer aided everything) that is a now radical notion. Pencil, paper and drafting tools = analog designer. Maybe drawing the old fashioned way will make a comeback someday, like vinyl records and tube-amp sound systems.
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Made in Vermont