ENGLISH BROWN OAK BURL LOG PROJECT. 2003 - 2007
Client Mrs. Allen at end of 22,000 pound English Brown Oak Burl Log imported from England by Rick Hearne. Mr. & Mrs. Allen in association with Jeffry Lohr purchased half of this extraordinary log to create an evolving work of art in mutual partnership. The plan was to create one of the most stunning and largest, (if not the largest) single through and through cut solid wood slab table in the country. The design "Frontier" is free form all the way through and and was completed in November 2005. An additional, no less impressive Grande Console made from this same log for the Allens followed 2007.
About how this extraordinary table came to be created.
In 2003 my clients Mr. & Mrs. Allen commissioned me to build the most astonishing dining table imaginable. The only requirements put on me was that the table had to seat twelve and that the top had to be made from a single (not glued together) solid through-and-through cut random bark edge slab of beautiful wood. Being very knowledgeable patrons of the arts, the Allen's understood this project would have to evolve. No drawings where submitted, no restraints put on me for the design except to do my creative best. There was no stringent time table or narrowly defined business agreement but in Mr. Allen's words, "this would be a commission of mutual trust to produce a living work of art." A commission where both patron and artist would work together to produce the most astonishing work of functional decorative art imaginable. This project was clearly an experiment to the outer limits of creativity and artistic patronage. It quite literally pushed me to the limit of my capabilities.
The project was in every way a journey to new Frontier.
It is very difficult to capture the massiveness of this table in a photograph. Please suffice it to say that like all of my work, the photo (although of excellent professional quality) does not really do the piece justice. If you look at me standing next to the table pictured at left, the piece extends considerably both in front of me as well as behind. I am 6ft tall, although the perspective does not translate well here, I think you can see that you could fit two of me laying on the table lengthwise, head to toe meeting where the bottle is placed in the middle.
I want to thank Mr. & Mrs. Allen for their steadfast trust extended to me during all phases of this extraordinary commission. This project sustained me and kept my mind focused as I recovered from very serious open heart surgery in 2005. I have found a new passion for this free form work that has left me more refreshed and excited about my life as a woodworker than I have ever enjoyed. I have always been happy in my work, but now I could not be more thrilled and excited to discover what is next. Thanks to both of you for your very unique patronage and thoughtful encouragement.
Phase II of the Allen Commission :
Grande Console: 36" high x Variable Width x 13'6" / English Br.Oak Burl & Black Walnut
Name: "Threshold" or as Jeremy calls it "Left Overs"
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