The Finished Product
In recent years, I have developed a style of woodworking I call "hybrid" rustic. This technique takes an aspect of rustic furniture making and combines it with more traditional advanced woodworking techniques to make a uniquely artistic and creative piece. The aprons on my tables are attached to corners or legs using mortise and tenon joinery; where logs meet logs, they are carefully scribed to match the profile of the mating log. The drawers are dovetailed and slide on a wooden surface guided by a pegged track (no metal slides).
I enjoy the challenge and artistry of coming up with new ideas and developing them into a product. The oval top coffee table apron is a good example. The vertical pieces of yellow birch log are angled to form an oval apron that matches the curve of the oval top. I strive to obtain a unique blend of rustic with a more sophisticated look. The lacquered, buffed flamed tiger maple top of this same table contrasts nicely with the rustic apron and root pedestal.
The woods used are unique and highly-prized hardwoods. The tiger maple is "hard" maple that I harvested, milled and dried myself. Much of the spalted maple I made by exposing the wood to spores and leaving it in a wet environment for over a year or two. I cut the "brown" maple from burl-riddled dead or dying maples. I place a strong emphasis on the natural aspects of woods in my work: I incorporate a lot of "live edges," because I feel they are not only beautiful, but they are also an integral part of the tree, allowing the viewer to look into the tree to see how the wood was formed over many years. My pieces place an emphasis on the visibility of the wood, using the bark to accentuate the natural grain patterns. A lot of the sides and tops are "live edge" Adirondack hardwoods finished with a clear hand-rubbed finished (no stain) so that you see the natural wood colors and grain patterns.