Today I completed the finish work on the bench. After cladding the form with the reclaimed oak flooring, I used oil paint to fine-tune the color. It is topcoated with shellac and finished with paste wax. The curved top makes for a very comfortable seat. As you can see from this angle, the boards “fold” across the top and down each side. All edge joints are mitered. Where the top folds over each end they are compound miters, which allow for the curve. The only tricky joints are the upper corners at the front and back, where the top overlays the facing. I cut these by hand, and have included a detail below.
This piece is important to me as an opportunity to find a creative application for the more literal “floor” work that I have been doing in my home. I was also looking for an opportunity to add value to what were otherwise reclaimed, left-over, or scrap materials in my shop. It is an elaboration on the theme of landscape being something that rises up from beneath our feet, the point being the immersive experience rather than the distant view. I hope to install a related work in my next show, coming up at Fontbonne University in March. In the mean time, I am slugging away at a number of related paintings. I may post a sneak preview of the works in progress, so stay tuned.