Remembering a Friend

In 2006 we lost a dear friend unexpectedly. And it just so happened that Matthew and his late friend, David Williams, were in the middle of a rather unusual collaboration...to design and build a mosaic table depicting the great cats of the world. Unfinished at the time of Dave's death Matthew wanted to complete the table to honor his friend. Being a professional wildlife artist Dave was brought on board to illustrate the big cats. Matthew designed and orchestrated the project and hired a marquetry artisan to turn Dave's illustrations into wood inlay's for the table. We recently came across photos of the table and wanted to share a sweet memory of a very talented friend. It was a blessing to have known Dave and to have him in our lives for so many years.  Dave's incredible drawings of nature will always bring a smile to our faces and warmth to our hearts.

"A friend can never be replaced, but will always be remembered. " - anonymous

 

 

Office Makeover

 

We just finished our latest project for a commercial office space.  They needed customized adjustable shelving and desks for two of their rooms.  Woodleaf fabricated, finished and installed these beautiful, clean, functional and affordable built in desks with heavy duty anodized aluminum brackets.  If you have an office space that needs an upgrade Woodleaf can help! 

Below are before and after photos of one of the four spaces we transformed.

Lava Flows on First Friday

     First Friday was a success!  The event was a lot of fun and "Lava Flow" seemed to get some well deserved attention.  If you missed coming out last weekend, the VAE will still have this collection of art on display through June.  Woodleaf Studios has a beautiful gallery as well if you would like to schedule a time to come to our workspace give us a call at 919-834-2566.       We are grateful to be in this community of artists and designers and we look forward to being a part of more events in the future. 

In the picture below Matthew (in the hat) is talking with peers about his functional art cabinet "Lava Flow".

Join us at the VAE Raleigh for First Friday!

Woodleaf is proud to announce that our wall cabinet "Lava Flow"  from the "Stump Stories" series has been selected from VAE art call entries for their "Scope '17" exhibit.  The reception/opening is on "First Friday" in downtown Raleigh.  We would love to see you all there on June 2nd, 2017 from 6-10.  Designer and owner of Woodleaf, Matthew Smith, will be there along with other participating artists.  Stop on by! The VAE(Visual Art Exchange) address is listed below...

VAE Raleigh

309 E Martin st.

Raleigh NC, 27601

 

Dimensions of Lava Flow: 13 3/4"w x 58"h x 6 7/16"d

Woodleaf Interprets and Adapts for Client's Needs

A client approached Woodleaf with a concept for their new vanity including a picture below of their basic idea. We interpreted this desire and adapted it to fit their needs. 

Photo client gave Woodleaf to work from.

Photo client gave Woodleaf to work from.

Woodleaf Studios adaptation of client's vanity desires..

Woodleaf Studios adaptation of client's vanity desires..

Getting Settled In Our New Space

Woodleaf Studios moved to a new space in July. The machines are all up and running, the office and break room have a fresh coat of paint and Matthew and the guys have designed, built and installed some very handsome awnings to go over all the exterior openings. Speaking of openings we will have one soon. But first we need to get our showroom set up. Stay tuned!

The Ark Cabinet

Recently Matthew and I were invited to attend a dedication Shabbat for a local Jewish Synagogue's new building where the Ark cabinet that Matthew designed and  Woodleaf built was the centerpiece of the ceremony. The Ark cabinet for those of you that are not familiar with Judaism houses the Torahs for the Temple. Matthew educated himself about the significance of the Torahs and the Ark to the Jewish religion in order to develop a design appropriate for the congregation. Matthew met many times with the Temple's  design committee and the Rabbi. He also attended a bar mitzvah in order to better understand the role of the Ark cabinet  in the services. After countless hours spent on his design he presented it to the committee and they were quite pleased. The Ark took two and a half months for Woodleaf to build.

The Ark is very large at 82 1/2 inches wide, 41 inches deep and 10 feet high. It has a three dimensional door front with 12 Star of David's depicted that represent the 12 Tribes of Israel which is of religious significance. The mechanism for opening the large door consists of  75 pounds of lead weights for counterbalance, a solid brass pulley, and a sash rope in order to keep the system quiet as it moves. The door is lockable but the lock is not visible from the front of the cabinet.

The interior of the cabinet features a back panel of 960 pieces of  beveled ash for added dimension and detail. There is a closet switch that automatically illuminates the inside of the cabinet when it is opened with a concealed LED light strip.

The cabinet was made from cherry plywood, cherry solids, walnut and ash. It was finished with a light aniline stain and clear lacquer.

Donation for The Methodist Home for Children

In January Woodleaf Studios donated this wall cabinet to The Methodist Home for Children's annual fundraiser.  It is the second year that we have donated a piece to this great cause. The cabinet face is comprised of maple burl from the stump of a tree.  The visible pattern is achieved by spreading the 1/4 inch slices of maple apart like a deck of cards. The cabinet is banded with walnut and has several adjustable shelves on the interior. We actually have a similar cabinet in our kitchen that Matthew designed and built of walnut and maple. We use it to store all our supplements and cold remedies etc.. It is functional art as seen below.

Coffee Table as Conversation Piece

Recently a long time administrator and supporter of the Central YMCA in Raleigh commissioned Matthew to design and build a coffee table incorporating a saved section of the old gym floor from the 60s era YMCA. Several sections of the old basketball court were saved at the time of  renovation. Some were used for artwork in the new lobby of the YMCA. While Matthew created a conversation piece for an athletic family's family room. Woodleaf Studios took apart the 1 inch thick solid maple tung and groove flooring by removing nails, then they glued the floor pieces together and planed off the old finish and paint. They finished the table with orange shellac and a clear lacquer top coat. The base is made of  sapele, a mahogany like wood. The edges of the top reveal the tung and groove pattern of the floor.

So rather than having a book as the conversation piece the table itself serves that purpose!

The Bridge for Much Ado

Our daughter  was in the play "Much Ado About Nothing" at her high school this Fall. As it is her senior year, I thought it would be nice if we did something big to help out the show. Turns out the director said they needed a bridge. So I donated Matthew's time and expertise to the cause. We sort of have a running inside joke that I always underestimate the time and effort required for a project, and that was the case here as well. Matthew had never built a bridge before so once again he had a design and engineering challenge. Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, Matthew and the guys at the shop were "in between" paying projects and had some free time for the bridge construction. Matthew developed the design based on a photo of a bridge the director gave him.  The results were well received! She even said that now she will be thinking of plays for the school to perform that involve a bridge.

An Uplifting Project

Woodeaf Studios specializes in taking a client's unique and challenging needs and creating the desired outcome. And like many this particular request was a first. The client wanted us to design, build and install an elevator door and closet door that appeared only to be a built-in cabinet. Also make the piece so that the style and finish complement the existing cabinetry on the other side of the billiards room. Below is the existing cabinetry.

The client also wanted the mechanical call button and cab indicator lights visible for use but inconspicuous.

Below left is a shot of the cabinet taking shape. Notice the plywood so no one falls down the elevator shaft!

The hidden doors revealed.