Mustafa Gök’s Resin and Wood Ensemble

These days, as spring has finally decided to knock on our doorstep and flowers of all colors and shapes are spectacularly commencing their bloom en masse, I, for the first time, was able to see the emerging graphic layout of my upcoming book. After months of negotiating words, illustrating individual drawings, photographing, and collecting pictures from near and far, I am able to see how this book which I named Working Reclaimed Wood – A Guide for Woodworkers, Makers and Designers is quickly approaching the printing press.

The gestalt of putting a manuscript together is complex. It involves a numerous people, time, perseverance, and the strenuous work of boiling down information. One of the hardest tasks in creating an art/craft book, is choosing the images. The process of selecting the best images to enter the book is much like judging a beauty pageant since the author and the editor need to choose the Best in Show from many excellent candidates. According to my book’s editor, A.J. Hamler, I had in my A-list of runners up around two thousand images, so of course we couldn’t put them all in.

Mustafa’s Gok’s reclaimed wood, resin and leaves table.

One bounty of images that I had to narrow down into only two photos, was the story of a Turkish woodworker named Mustafa Gök. Mr. Gök reclaims abandoned logs, limbs and other irregular timber from the dump and the side of the road, and then turns them into great pieces of furniture. All the trees and logs that he saves were discarded by developers, farmers or homeowners and could not be utilized by the standard lumber industry. Most of these logs are small in size, partially hollowed out by decay, twisted, deformed, or suffer from complications that make them undesirable by the standard woodworker, and render them a non-lucrative commodity. However, for Mr. Gok, they provide a splendid canvas to draw upon.

Mr. Gök examines them and utilizes them to the best of their potential. Some are resawn into unique shaped planks that he later incorporates into furniture, whereas others – short logs – are used in their entirety, flanked or held together by a transparent resin cast. The reclaimed/resin duo allows us to appreciate both the raw organic properties of the tree, side by side with the modern translucent material, which on top of complementing the overall shape, provides a structural-functional counterbalance.

Thankfully I have this blog, and can provide Mustafa’s talents a broader stage. Below, you can see some of the images that he took. They depict the reclaimed material that he uses, and the process that he deploys to achieve his artistic vision.

Before casting the resin

After casting and polishing

When the polishing process is finally done.

When the light switch on this sideboards is turned on, the piece comes to life.

But even when this furniture is “off” it is still an amazing piece.

 

Polishing the resin/wood surface takes a lot of effort and … much sandpaper.

A wood/resin latch detail

When Ms. Gok is not working with reclaimed wood, he dedicates his time for designing and building bent laminated furniture, and expressive furniture with spectacularly carved surfaces.

If you like to learn more about casting and incorporating resin in tandem with natural edge wood, you have to watch the well made how-to video produced by a British company that specializes in epoxies. 

– Yoav Liberman

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Yoav Liberman

About Yoav Liberman

Yoav S. Liberman is a woodworker and a teacher. His pieces have been featured in several woodworking books, most recently in Robin Wood’s CORES Recycled. Yoav teaches woodworking at the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan, and also frequently guest teaches in craft schools across the country.  Between 2003 and 2011 Yoav  headed the woodworking program at Harvard University's Eliot House. Yoav’s articles have appeared in American Woodworker and Woodwork Magazine. He frequently contributes woodworking web content to a number of digital publications   Yoav has a degree in architecture and later held two competitive residency programs: at The Worcester Center for Crafts in Massachusetts, and the Windgate Foundation Fellowship at Purchase College, New York. He lives in Chestnut Ridge NY.

2 thoughts on “Mustafa Gök’s Resin and Wood Ensemble

  1. pmac

    Hi Yoav,
    Thanks for the post. I was wondering if you have ever worked with resins on this scale and what your thoughts about working with it were.
    Thanks

    1. Yoav LibermanYoav Liberman Post author

      So far I only used epoxy to fill gaps, checks and other defects in live edge slabs and reclaimed wood. I haven’t used it in such an impressive scale as Mustafa Gok does. I can tell you however that many, like me, who works with epoxy to fill up gaps and crackers prefer the 30 min epoxy upon the 5 min. Often I prefer to tint the color of the resin by adding to it a die or a pigment powder. I talk a bit more about this technique in my book and show how I dike a crack in a cutting board with paste wax prior to poring over the epoxy.

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