Joyce's Counsel Table

Every artist (and indeed, all business people) will tell you that is is a great joy to have "repeat customers."  :)  In the world of artists, such folks also provide opportunities to talk about "things that matter."  

What is that about?  Most art lovers (music, visual arts, theatre, etc.) will agree that "art imitates, or symbolizes, how life 'feels.'"  So when an artist is given an opportunity to create a piece for a client, the conversation tends to include rich symbolic and "feelingful" language - language, which shapes the design of the piece.

Such was the case when I was given a second opportunity to build a piece for Joyce and John (although it was inspired by Joyce!).  Joyce and John had visited me (as they always do) at the American Craft Council Show in Saint Paul.  One of the pieces in my booth was a "live edge" bench in black walnut, which drew Joyce's interest.  She was not looking for a bench, per se, but like the manner in which I had prepared the "live edge" element.

Joyce desired to have a Counsel Table in the back entryway to their home.  The primary element was to be a walnut live edge top, with a drawer and a shelf. She wanted it to be bold, rich, elegant, inviting, conversational, and not strictly utilitarian. I shopped for an appropriate-sized piece for the top, and then let it stand in my shop for many months, before I could begin the piece in earnest.

My approach to live edge work is somewhat different than most.  A great amount of live edge work tends to be either 1) either the raw edge of the lumber after the bark has been removed, or 2) with all the bark left on the piece.  Both are useful and appealing ways to present live edge pieces.  I am not trying to be critical here.  However, my furniture portfolio does not really fall into either visual category.  So, my approach is to make live edge pieces, which can also find a home in the category of "fine furniture."  The design style here is sometimes referred to as "stacked coins" or "a hand full of pennies."  As bark, it is quite smooth, and exposes a lovely internal structure that would otherwise remain hidden.

I delivered the piece one week ago; I am happy to report that it is already loved - thank you, Joyce!

The "live edge" top, showing the "stacked coins" profile.

The "live edge" top, showing the "stacked coins" profile.

Part of the magic of many "live edge" pieces is that by definition, they tend to be asymmetrical.

Part of the magic of many "live edge" pieces is that by definition, they tend to be asymmetrical.

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