Once upon a time we got invited to show at the American Craft Show in Baltimore! We are thrilled (and nervous) at the chance to be a part of such a huge show filled with such talent. In honor of the event, we decided to design and build a brand new spec piece… within three weeks.
The design started as a sketch on a piece of computer paper and I use the word “sketch” lightly. We then decided on cherry and maple as the material as well as some basic dimensions and then mapped out a quick story stick. From there, it was all a flash. By the end of day one we had legs, a mitered box style carcase to house some drawers, and a piece of wildly figured maple selected as the table top. In the days to follow, the hand cut dovetail drawers came together, stretchers were mortise-and-tenoned into the legs, and dividers were put into the mitered carcase.
We decided early on to square the table top and leave a small section of the natural live edge to add some natural shape and a bit of texture along the edge. But, what to do with the fun live edge we ripped off? Make a shelf to sit on top of the desk for some display space and a chance to make tiny drawers for additional storage? Our thoughts exactly! So. many. drawers.
Inspired by our frequent visits to the Wharton Esherick Museum, we decided that a small sliding storage tray housed in one of the drawers was a must. Wharton was masterful at joining practical storage with artistic, beautiful furniture design and we can’t help but to borrow some inspiration from him now and again. That, with some attention paid to new custom drawer pulls, and just like that, it came together. These photos above were the first time we get to see it all assembled and the last photos taken before she was coated in boiled linseed oil!
After the oil dried for 5 days, we jumped into finishing; lacquer on the base and Waterlox on the top. The oil and the finish really popped the crazy grain of the maple. Fun fact: We salvaged this maple from a dead tree in a cemetery a few miles from the shop. We sawed up the log right on site and dried it here. It’s some of the wildest grain we’ve ever seen in solid form and we credit that to the Revolutionary soldiers that were buried around it.
Now, the Harris desk is complete and ready to hit the road to hang out in our booth at the American Craft Show in Baltimore along with a van full of our booth walls and the rest of the furniture we have for sale on spec. We hope to see some of you at the show February 22nd - 24th at the Baltimore Convention Center!