The distance between Pat’s living room and Dan’s woodshop is over 600 miles, the tree used for her piece was 360 years old, and the wood dried for over 10 years. The result: a custom fireplace mantle for Pat’s home.
Last weekend, Dan delivered the mantle to Kansas City, Missouri, where he met Pat and her husband back in September during The Plaza Art Show. He installed the piece with the help of a mason, and it was a perfect fit.
The process from start to finish took about seven months. It began when Pat sent us photos of her fireplace. She described the room, and what she had in mind for the piece. Dan did a sketch requesting the dimensions he would need before beginning an estimate. Pat and her husband took careful measurements.
After several drawings and a phone call, a design was settled upon. Sugar maple was chosen in order to compliment the colors of the room. They both loved the idea of using the live-edge (the part of the tree just under the bark) from one of the trees that came from our land, so Dan set aside a board for them. Given the amount of snow we had this spring made it a challenge for him to later go and get their board, but he managed to dig it out. Dan took a humidity reading, planed it out, and dimensioned the lumber. The board he chose for the front was thick with organic curves and markings. The mantle wraps around the chimney, so frame-and-panel shelves were also constructed and joined to the front board of the mantle. He hand finished the piece with his blend of secret oils, followed by a protective topcoat to protect the wood from any water damage.
Another feature he added was to carve grooves to accommodate Pat’s plate collection. She wanted the plates to be on display without having the fuss of the stands. She sent us photos of the plates, and Dan found a plate here that he used as a stand-in to carve the grooves.
It is always a pleasure to see a piece finally come together after so many months of planning. It was especially wonderful working with Pat and her husband. It seems beautiful work attracts beautiful people to work with.
“Wow. What a beautiful result from our September 2012 conversation!!! Words just can’t possibly say what is in my heart. Thank you for your tender loving care in making such a beautiful mantle. We will treasure it always.” – Pat and Chuck
To view photos of other custom pieces made from that same 360 year old maple tree, visit our album on Facebook: Pieces made with the Moon Bear Wood.