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The yearly show at the Del Mar fairgrounds always showcases dozens of tasteful turnings.
Every year or so someone sees Jesus in their tea leaves or window fog, but a Northern California woodworker unveiled a miracle of his own at the 29th annual Design in Wood Exhibition, sponsored by the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association.At first I thought the walnut panels featured in the Joseph Bush’s “Orchard Lover’s Cabinet” were a masterwork of faux graining, but when I opened the doors and saw the same grain on the back side of the panels, I knew this was no paint job. According to show coordinator Bob Stevenson, Bush had held onto the amazing his-hers flitch for 10 years before building the cabinet. The miraculous figure came from the graft between the English walnut and American walnut parts of the tree. I was also happy to see that the claro walnut cabinet’s overall design and craftsmanship lives up to the miraculous panels, with a tasteful base and impeccably fitted drawers and doors. By the way, take a closer look and you’ll see a book-matched heart in the center panel, joining the two lovers.I’ve probably seen a hundred thousand pieces of furniture in my decade at Fine Woodworking, but I’ve never seen anything quite like these two sequential slices, unmistakeably a man and a woman, as beautifully rendered as any painter could do. It’s enough to start making me look for The Good Lord in my French toast.
There were plenty of other wonders at this year’s Design in Wood show, put on each year by the country’s largest woodworking guild, and housed at the mammoth, month-long San Diego County Fair. In fact there were over 400 entries, beating last year’s total by 100. Seems the bad economy has been good for woodworking, or maybe the pros just have more pieces that haven’t sold yet. Either way, the show was the best I’ve seen in my five years of attending. Fine Woodworking gave out a special award for furniture design to Reuben Foat for his homage (I think) to one of FWW’s contributing editors, Garrett Hack. Foat’s “Not a Hack Table” is more angular than Hack’s work, but just as elegant, with playful inlay to match its tongue-in-cheek name.
But my favorite turning was "Gollypod Family" by Jason Lane. I'm not sure what world he is living in, but I like it.
This rich show also draws some of the best carvers in the country.
I gave Fine Woodworkings special award for furniture design to Reuben Foat's "Not a Hack Table." Every detail is considered in this delicate piece. I'd love to have it in my own home.
I was charmed when I found out that a father and son made this scale car and trailer, named, inevitably, "Life is a Beach." I've heard that Gary and Kelsey Clark are already hard at work on their next replica.
With a working electric motor and an excellent steering mechanism, the car is ready for a small child to climb in and take off.
Under the barbecue lid, I found this grill, spatula, hamburger, and black briquets, like everything else, made from wood.
As Joseph Bush sliced through a miraculous piece of walnut, he saw the picture in the grain change from a man to a woman. They face each other in his "Orchard Lover's Cabinet," with a book-matched heart between them.
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Yep, saw this at the SD Fair last weekend and it was a show stopper --- Amazing.
Anybody notice the praying hands in the center panel?
or is that another face?
The man reminds me of a self portrait of Van Gogh.
Are they sure the tree didn't grow over the grave of lovers who met a tragic end...
I just want to say that I am so lucky, being frozen to the East Coast, to be able to view the gorgeous work being done in the West. Thanks to Fine Woodworking and this website you bring to all of us who are passionate about wood this pleasure. Long may you wave.
After more than 50 years of working with wood,I thought I had seen just about everything, to me, this proves what craftsmen have always said - "Let the wood reveal what wonders it contains for you". This beautiful piece of wood and furniture are a worthy marriage. A real pleasure to behold.
Pattern Maker Ret'd
Those wood faces are so varied, it almost looks like marquetry was performed to acheieve the images.
I once saw (I think on TV) a person grinding off stones a bit at a time to reveal a "picture" inside, not unlike those lovers in the veneer panels.
It's amazing what amazing treasures nature provide to those who seek them.
The Gollypod reminds me of the fanciful creatures shown a while back on one of the science channels about what life might look like on an alien planet. Lane simply stopped short of adding eyes and a single clawed foot.
Might be an interesting design for a house, though, complete with wind- or solar-powered elevator.
I hear you, Tom. But the wood is pretty miraculous, no? I've never seen a flitch like this one.
I enjoy looking at fine furniture. However, I don't think I'd like something that looks back at me.
How a chunk of red oak forced me to rethink the details of a cabinet
The Shakers had this diminutive design pegged
Fast, fun approach to making a comfortable, casual seat
In this video Michael finishes the first of the three boxes. Gluing-up, planing, sanding and finishing bring a new piece of art to the world.
In this video Michael starts work on the second box, a carved and painted Saddle lid box.
Michael begins carving the saddle lid box with his ripple pattern along the top. Then turns to his 5/30 gouge to texture the sides of the box. This isn't work…
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