E N Curtis

Woodworker. Artist. Teacher. Chucklehead.

Some recent work and a Happy New Year!

As of late I've had some fun slabbing trees along side my furniture work. It's a thoroughly enjoyable experience to me, though I can't imagine it is for everyone. There's always been something about slinging around heavy objects and what other's consider to be heavy manual labor that I enjoy; it's the smells and the textures of materials, it's working outside and enjoying the weather, even if it is 20 degrees outside. The experience of work has always been more enjoyable to me than sitting in a classroom, and it's all the better when your laboring over a material you have an affection for. Cutting into a tree and finding something you didn't expect is a supremely fun thing to me. But hey, that's why I do what I do. This specific log of Red Oak I pictured had an interesting pattern to the grain I thought might interest some. I don't usually care all that much for Red Oak, but this is going to make a really neat table top one day.

I also delivered a table to a client this past week, just in time for Christmas. The base was of Cherry, then was ebonized using quebracho bark powder to add tannins and a ebonizing solution. Cherry has a relatively high tannin content already, so for a lot of ebonizing situations you don't need the bark powder mix. This base, however, needed to be jet black, and the solution I used succeeded wonderfully. You can see the base before staining was done, and the final product is simply two coats of tannin powder mix and two coats of iron solution, with three coats of danish oil on top. 

The top is a bookmatched fiddleback sycamore flitch trimmed with a Wenge and Maple border. The slight curve on the underside of the edging gives the table a lightness as well as a soft feel, and brings it into the curvature of the bottom. When I delivered it I got a glimpse of it from about 15ft away perpendicular to the top and in the light they had it was even more mesmerizing than I had seen it to be. Really a nice flitch. The table is 60"x36"x30"—a standard size table for a family of 6.

And so, a Happy New Year from all of us here at E N Curtis Woodworks (that is, me and my St. Bernard)! Let's hope that I don't have to put my nephew back into my snow boots for a while!