During the week between Christmas and the New Year, I was on a short vacation in Colorado. Even though I had never spent time in the state (except passing through on a connector flight), I had a preconceived idea of what to expect when it came to Colorado furniture. My idea may have been wrong – it may still be wrong. But it was reinforced within the walls of the house where we stayed.
That idea was that Colorado is “Cowboy,” and the furniture was “bunk house.” By bunk house I mean heavy, bulky, sturdy in construction and strong – furniture you could put your boots on after a long day on the trail. (Did I touch on enough stereotypes?)
Besides the view outside the windows (shown in the opening photo) and the view on the ski slopes (when I wasn’t picking myself up after a nasty spill), I spent a few hours throughout the week staring at the pair of end tables in the family room; one table is shown at right.
These tables, when I first eyed them, made me shake my head. Cowboy? Yep. But as the week wore on, I began to appreciate the heft. The overall design came to be appreciated. Not sure if it was the pain of being away from shop-made furniture for such a long time, if this was an example of “If you live with something long enough you become fond of it” or is it simply a good design and nice looking table.
Although I don’t particularly like the gouge work along the lower edge of the aprons, and I could think of a few different design ideas for the space between the shelf and floor – chunky turning doesn’t do it for me – slowly I accepted the pinwheel designs on the top and bottom of the legs. They look as if they could be cut using a single carving gouge– I have yet to give it a try, but I will. I found something similar to the pinwheel on the cover of “A Woodworker’s Guide to Carving (Back to the Basics),” by the Editors of Skilled Institute Press, but that design is chip carved.
What about it? Is this design good? Would you like to see this project in the pages of Popular Woodworking Magazine? Leave me a comment. And if you reside in the great State of Colorado, or your last name happens to be Hickenlooper (as in Governor Hickenlooper), please know that I enjoy your state immensely. Where else would you go to ski, snowmobile and snowboard – I never actually got to the snowboard stuff.
If you’re looking for a book on carving wildlife, pick up a copy of “Wildlife Carving in Relief,” by Lora S. Irish.