Out on a Limb
So the tree is complete and Mike is working on its two companions. The tree is a work of art. Chip carving winds its way around the trunk and limbs. Then we glazed the tree with a Van Dyke Brown color to highlight the chip carving and then finished with a precatalyzed lacquer.
On the end of the limbs are three ambrosia maple shelves for display items. The knot hole door is walnut with barrel hinges and a miniature brass knob. The installation went very smooth, thanks to Mike for his in-shop mock up of the angle of the beam and looks as though the limbs are protruding through the ceiling. One limb is anchored to the front of the bookcases we installed earlier.
We asked the client to send us a hand drawn heart with their initials which Mike then transferred to the trunk of the tree and carved in, adding a bit of a personalized romantic touch.
The custom inlaid jigsaw puzzle under the tree was finished with some animal drawings. I used prismacolor pencils to draw some pertinent images such as a giraffe, hippo, flamingo, pangolin, golf club, and a penguin. Because the puzzle is inlaid into the top Mike came up with a unique way of removing the first piece. The end of one of the branches is attached with inset rare-earth magnets and the corner puzzle piece has another magnet buried in the bottom. This allows the tip of the limb to be removed and used to pick up the piece of the puzzle, very cool. The clients grandchildren love the puzzle and spend more time in the "Tree House".
Mike is finishing two smaller (~26" tall) trees that look like they are growing from the floor and holding similar shelves. Though two of the shelves are the same ambrosia maple as the large tree's shelves, we found a beautiful piece of crotch walnut that was perfect for the third shelf. The figure and color of the crotch walnut really makes a statement.
Mike can finally put away the multitude of tools that it took to create this project and return to building "normal" custom designs. Keep an eye out for pictures on our Facebook page and website.