Peter Sandback Nails His Designs
Peter Sandback will tell you he’s not a great woodworker. And maybe he’s not a handcut dovetails kind of guy. But every time you turn around he seems to have developed another innovative and dynamic technique and designed a whole slew of great pieces around it.
When I first saw his work ten or twelve years ago, he was building impeccably crafted tables with concrete tops and selling them all over the country. He had developed a method for casting a thin shell of concrete around a core of foam, making the tables light enough to ship. For good measure, he had also come up with a surface treatment that made the concrete stain resistant–a problem most concrete countertop makers had yet to solve.
By 2008 Sandback was pushing in a very different direction. After years of experimentation, he had figured out how to make thin end-grain log slices, glue them to a plywood substrate, and create tables with what looked like inch-thick slabs of tree–but without the threat of warping or cracking. He has made a lot of great pieces using that method, and you can see them and his concrete tables on his website, www.petersandback.com
His current specialty, which is featured on the magazine’s back cover and in this audio slide show, is making elaborate inlaid patterns using aluminum nails. The slide show presents a range of pieces he’s decorated with the technique and explains how he creates a pattern step by step.