Mt. Everest

wood cabinet

wood cabinet

Perhaps this dining room sideboard is not the most technically challenging piece I have yet made, but I do regard it as an accomplishment. And, when the wood isn’t cooperating and/or my confidence is flagging…I can recall that I have bagged Mt. Everest, and one step at a time the current project will be realized.

This sideboard was designed to mediate harmony between a mid-century modern house and an heirloom Chippendale china cabinet. Engineered to be strong and stable despite the clear space underneath and the delicately tapered legs. Side cabinet compartments – behind mitered doors – are sized to accommodate rare single malts.

Most of this case is made from a single, spectacular log of hard maple, figured “tiger striping” a rare but natural occurrence. Tiger maple, with door panels of birds-eye maple, a walnut racing stripe, walnut drawer sides and hand-made ebony drawer-pulls.

The Bridge

wood table with curved legswood table with curved legs

Steve and Nomi designed and helped to build their timber-framed home. All massive wood bents and beams, art and crafts—it sits surrounded by gardens and nature, high on a hill. Part Cottswolds cottage, part Kalel’s fortress of solitude. Adding any more than the minimum would have been much too much. What it needed was a curve or two.

Each leg tapers dramatically in both thickness and in width—so that is nearly appears to be an animal arching its back and standing on tippy toes. Achieving this effect, while capturing the inherent strength of the wood, required slicing, bending and gluing tapering “layers” of wood upon a shop-made form.

Undercarriage of curly ash, top in rift-sawn white oak.

Small Boxes

3 wood boxes

Walnut Butternut

wood box

Tiger Maple

I rarely make little things. Especially little wood boxes. Too precious. A person could pick up one of these little boxes, reading glasses lowered on their nose and examine every crevice! Who wants that? And, as it turns out there is a sub-culture of woodworkers dedicated to designing and building little boxes. And they act like its nothing! My friend Steve Altman ( builds the most amazing little boxes…exquisite! And his website says something like, “they’re nothing really. Just a few little bits of wood and some glue.” I did not take any pictures inside of these little boxes…but there is nothing in them but my blue-ink signature. They’re empty vessels: they were made to honor a few very special teachers, whose calling is to help fill empty vessels.