Contemporary Chest with Colonial Roots
Synopsis: Using planks of red oak from a centuries-old tree that grew on George Washington’s estate, Mount Vernon, Duncan Gowdy built this chest for an exhibition of furniture made from trees with a historical pedigree. He got his inspiration from a corncrib on the estate, and carved the front panel depicting an old poplar tree, also at Washington’s home, on a piece of ash that had also grown there. The result is a chest that looks contemporary but can trace its lineage back to before the birth of the United States.
Several years ago I was lucky enough to receive some beautiful planks of red oak from a centuries-old tree that grew on the grounds of George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. The wood came from William Jewell, who asked me to build something with it for an exhibition he was curating of furniture made from trees with a…