Serving tray in quartersawn white oak. The finish is blonde shellac.
In April and May of 2006, I was in search of some good tea cups to replace my mass-produced mugs. I came across a booth at the Brookside Art Annual that really struck a chord. The artist’s work was completely functional and had an organic quality that I appreciated.
I bought a cup, and after I lived with it for a while, found that I had several ideas for complementary pieces. The first was this serving tray. I wanted to work in a similar organic dialect, which meant using hand tools as much as possible. Here, I carved around the handles to express the feeling of a tendon pressing against skin.
The stock I used for the sides had a nice blend of heartwood and sapwood, an element I like to work in where I can. The dovetails were cut by hand with an English back saw and chisels. My shop-made marking gauge marked the tails and pins, and as you can see, I left the score line.
The panel for the bottom of the tray came from a single piece of 6/4 oak, which I bought rough sawn. The stock for the bookmatched panel I resawed using a handsaw, and then hand planed to final width. This time there was this small corner of sapwood that gave added interest when positioned in the center of the panel.