Leaf Table 2012 - 2013

 

In the Spring of 2012 I obtained several 24 inch diameter  used  steel disks from a farm implement dealer.  They were destined for  a scrap metal sale.  I also obtained  sections of 4 inch diameter steel tubing which I had welded to the  disk plates.  After a lot of brushing and sanding I painted the  steel  sections black.  These have served as  a good base for  a coat tree and for the diamond willow tree that I  cleaned and finished for my living room.  I turned a block of  aspen to just fit into the steel tube and added wings to the top of the block to make the supports for a circular table.  I laminated a large 4 foot diameter birch  slab and cut it as a circle and attached it to the  supports with special steel cleats that would allow the top to move with expansion and contraction due to moisture changes.

When the warm weather came I postponed the finishing work to the next winter (2012- 2013. 

I had pressed leaves of various forest plants and used these as models  to add pyrographic  plant images to a circular band on the table top.  When the images were added, I applied a sealer coat of Varathane, oil based varnish.  Then, using alcohol-based aniline dyes I added fall colours to the leaves with the result shown here.  I have applied 12 additional coats of  this satin varnish and will leave it to cure for at least a month, and probably longer, before  doing a "rubbing out" finish to the  surface. 

This table was designed for my living room space and I intend it to remain there.  I show it here to illustrate the technique and the kind of work I  do.

The four images above are of the whole table and the images below  are of sections  around the  perimeter.  I will follow that with images of the  decoration at earlier stages.

 

Aniline dyes are transparent and allow the wood grain to show through the colour.  This  gives it a quality  that cannot be achieved with opaque paints.  Application is by a penetration through the sealer coat of varnish which slows the absorption and prevents it from just running  and spreading into the wood in an uncontrolled manner.  I treat it similar to water colour wash painting.  I began with a base application of yellow to most of the plant  areas (except the mushrooms), and then applied  orange, red and green.  Additional yellow in a loaded brush or clear alcohol were added to blend  colours which were dissolved once more  in the new wash.

 

We are still in mid winter as I took the photos for this page and light levels are very low.  I had to use flash to obtain some of these images on this page and the quality is less than they  could have been in a natural light setting in the summer.

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