Philip A. Gruppuso
Woodworking began as a practical endeavor for me, a response to the need for functional items for my home. It has become much more. At the heart of the work is wood, a remarkable material that starts with something living – a tree. The process of transforming a board into something of beauty is challenging; it requires a sense of design and proportion, but it also requires skills that can only be acquired through effort and persistence. Satisfaction grows from using my hands to shape and surface the wood. When the outcome is good, the results are a satisfying combination of the visual, tactile and functional.
These pieces have several elements in common. The maple table tops all start with slabs that were destined to be discarded. Shaping them involved the removal of unstable elements and stabilization with epoxy resin, butterfly keys and veneered panels. The bases, all constructed from black walnut, borrow from the designs of the mid-century furniture master, George Nakashima. All of the pieces are finished with shellac and varnish. The table tops are durable and meant to be used. However, I also accepted the limitations of the slabs, incorporated their odd shapes and voids into the table designs.
Here are a few examples of his work.