The Merced River region in Yosemite is a symphony of curvature: soaring domes, the arc of falling water, and great undulating riverbeds of polished granite.
Lacking glaciers and rivers to sculpt the soft curves in this desk, I used spokeshaves, handplanes, and carving gouges in a gloriously messy fanfare of cherry shavings. The soft movements of the form are echoed by the top's intricate growth ring graphics and swirling highlights, while Macassar ebony pulls and socks complement the warm cherry colors.
The drawer-side wood is European maple--the traditional "tiger maple" of violin family instruments--from cello blanks whose curl echoed the slope of the drawer fronts. Satiny to touch and eye and a dream to work with, it's no wonder Stradivarius and Guarneri liked this wood. A light fragrance of cedar of Lebanon spices the air when you push the drawer closed.
Mortise and tenon construction anchors the structure in sound tradition, while Swedish style NK (pronounced en-ko) drawers maximize storage and glide on wide runners that ensure an exceptionally long and smooth life.