Friday, June 29, 2012

Some Old Work Revisited

A customer of mine asked me to refinish a table that I had made for him a number of years ago, his granddaughter had worked it over pretty good.  It was a bit of an unusual project at the time to build it, and I had somewhat of a hard time approaching it with the usual degree of concentration.  He was using a Mahogany table that the carpenter who built his house made, and though the material was quite nice wood, it was too narrow and the base was rather heavy and ill proportioned to the top.  He asked me to do something with it, no specifics required, whatever I wanted.

I didn't have any Mahogany and it is hard to obtain.  I did have some Maple in the length required however, and it was handy and well seasoned,  so I just widened the top with it and changed the overall shape to something that I thought was pleasing, and also used some of the lighter wood for the base, mixed with Black Acacia and Walnut for the woven pattern.  I'm not so into racing stripes, and a lot of thought really didn't go into the project, I simply produced it rather quickly as a priority, and it pretty much came from nowhere but the time.  No study, pulling out old patterns, or sketching.  My customer is a casual guy, owns a great French restaurant, from which he has mostly retired now.  His lifestyle is relaxed and at his own pace.  He likes the more unique aspects of the table, I guess could be said, and it gets treated pretty rough, used for both dining and as a work surface.  The chairs were a later addition that he asked me to do.

It's enjoyable for me to see the table now and then, he lives close by my shop.  It does make me wonder what I had in mind when I produced it?  I do recall thinking in an intuitive way about what he would like, and also what I could do expediently.  I might want to try and develop the idea of the wood weaving during another time.  I was a little concerned regarding the durability of the strips, they are quite thin, but so far everything has held up without any problem at all.


Dan McCallum said...

Dennis, looks great, I think it worked out very well and your client obviously thins so too. Thanks for posting this.


djy said...

Hi Dan,

Thanks for the kind words.

Sometimes my client talks about building a new restaurant. He has rented the property and structure where he is currently located, for over thirty years. He would like to leave something more to his own tastes, in terms of the structure that houses the restaurant, for his son who has mainly taken over the operation now. The man is very specific about location, close to the current restaurant, near a university hospital where the physicians comprise a large percentage of his clientele. Unfortunately, available land in the area is scarce. We've talked about furniture for the place if it ever happens. Hoping something might eventually develop, it sure would be a great project to be involved with. I might have to get to work early.


Anonymous said...

Wow. That is a very special table. Very impressed.
The grain pattern on the top, the unique legs with the basket weave. Really Really nice.


djy said...

Hey thanks, Chris, that's a very nice compliment.

I just noticed your blog, I'll be interested to check it out.


Anonymous said...

Dennis ,
Thanks very much for intoducing me to your blog site !
I have for decades greatly admired wood in general and of course fine furniture as well and I simply have to say... I have perhaps seen no finer work anywhere,period.
Your work is an inspiration to all who are fortunate enough to see/own it and quite simply elevates the soul and spirit as well.

Take care and pls keep up the great work.

djy said...

Thanks, Michael, very kind words!