The opportunity to build the ultimate easel presented itself with the maturing of a large red oak tree here on the studio grounds. I should have harvested the tree several years sooner, but did not have the heart to cut it down until it had become so weak that there was no longer hope for it to withstand the next storm.  

After cutting the tree down...

The next project was to haul the logs to the saw mill to be turned into lumber. Fortunately for me, the mill operator took the extra time to quarter saw the oak and created the ultimate of oak lumber for me to dry and plane into the heirloom easel I now get to enjoy.

  After all the sawing, sanding, and molding the edges, came the finishing process. Doing things the old way, I used black walnut hulls for the dark stain along with brass grandfather clock type weights to create ease of movement. In addition I used my gun stock brass inlay experience to do some fancy inlay work on the crown of the easel. giclee giclee

Once all this was completed we went back to the tree stump and cut out a sample to count the tree rings and age the tree. The rings date the tree to a time when, as a sapling, it could have been witness to the indigenous people from this area who lost a stone arrow point near the spot where this tree grew. The incredible art forms of this old culture still intrigue me today and lead to a greater respect for the degree of difficulty they experienced in producing such beauty with a minimum of tools and mediums.