Photos of readers

I’ve learned from this feature not just about the huge diversity of interests of our readers, but also about how many of them are immensely talented in their avocations. And today’s reader, Doug Keck, is one of those. Here he is with some beautiful furniture. His words are indented:

I have spent a lot of lockdown time in my woodshop.  This is a lifetime passion of mine.  I have filled several houses with furniture over the years and am currently working on my son’s house.

The table and chair were inspired by furniture that I saw at the Villa Kerylos on the French Riviera.  It was built and furnished between 1902 and 1908 by Theodore Reinach in the style of ancient Greece. The wood is koa, a Hawaiian wood now quite rare and expensive.  I bought the wood in the 1970’s when it was cheap.  These items used the last of it.  The inlays are mother of pearl and ebony.  The leather for the seat is from an elk hide jacket that my father had made from an elk he shot in about 1960.

The whirligig was just a fun little project.  It is me hand planing a board.  My current project is a teeter totter whirligig for my grandchildren.

31 Comments

  1. Charles A Sawicki
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Beautiful wood working!

  2. rickflick
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I wish I had those skills. Congratulations on your creativity.

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Great work, man.

    Years ago I built some wooden furniture for a place my wife and I were living in — a kitchen table, a bookcase, an “entertainment stand” for the stereo and teevee.

    My cousin, who’s a very skilled word-worker, came for a visit. I showed the pieces and asked what he thought.

    “Nice,” he said. “Very … uh … rustic.” 🙂

    • Jonathan Wallace
      Posted June 30, 2020 at 1:58 am | Permalink

      “My cousin, who’s a very skilled word-worker,…”

      You mean he’s a writer? 😉

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 30, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        Been so long since I worked with wood, I can’t even write it right.

        Reckon my typing’s gotten a bit “rustic,” too. 🙂

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Very nice work. Lots of time and money in that hobby. Just guessing from the second photo – California?

    • Douglas Keck
      Posted June 29, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Hollister which is about 100 miles south of SF.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 29, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        Hollister? The site of the 1947 biker invasion that inspired The Wild One?

        Say, Doug, what are you rebelling against? 🙂

        • Douglas Keck
          Posted June 29, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

          Yes, the very place of the origin of the biker legends. I have lived here for 38 years. The old timers that I met mostly told me they found out about the event when they read about it in the SF chronicle, but hey it’s a good story!
          I rebel mostly against bad food and winter which is why I live in California.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted June 29, 2020 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        I lived in Alameda a couple of times. Also long ago I went to school with a guy from Half Moon Bay.

  5. Jenny Haniver
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    My gosh! Your work is exquisite, every inch of it. I especially love the foot at the end of the table leg. And in the photo I see an optical illusion that makes the table top seem somewhat pyramidal.

    • Douglas Keck
      Posted June 29, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      You are correct,it is an illusion the top is rectangular. My furniture skills are better than my photographic skills.

  6. Terry Sheldon
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Lovely work! I’m always impressed by people who can do fine woodwork.

  7. Posted June 29, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Koa! Around 1975 I made a jewelry box out of Koa for my first real girlfriend. The wood was beautiful but my box had little of the craftsmanship shown in your lovely furniture creations. She loved the box nonetheless.

  8. Mark R.
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Wow, I’d love to have that set in my house. How much? Just kidding. It’s cool that you’re able to repurpose the elk skin. The inlays are exquisite.

    Approx. how long did it take to build that set?

    • Douglas Keck
      Posted June 29, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      I was pleased to reuse the Elk skin as the furniture is for my daughter-in-law and keeping the family connection fun.

      The table and chair were about 120 hours of work.

      • Mark R.
        Posted June 29, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the info Douglas; I’d say you’re a pretty quick woodworker. 👍

  9. Debbie Coplan
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Really beautiful work! The detail is so impressive-

  10. Posted June 29, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Great work – but a table with sloping edges?

    rz

    • Posted June 29, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      I could be wrong, but that’s an optical illusion.

      • Douglas Keck
        Posted June 29, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        The table edges are square.

      • Posted June 29, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that’s what I thought too at first glance but closer inspection shows that the table is flat.

        • Douglas Keck
          Posted June 29, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

          Correct, the top is flat. What seems to be a slope is a mitered frame around the center panel which is veneer.

  11. Posted June 29, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    So beautiful. Great chair to sit and meditate with an amber restorative (cf. Hitchens) in hand.

  12. Posted June 29, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Wow, have you every made a Podcaster desk that’s somewhat low so that a gaming chair would be perfect for?

  13. Posted June 29, 2020 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    Very nice.

  14. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted June 30, 2020 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    Beautiful wood and exquisite furniture…

  15. Jonathan Wallace
    Posted June 30, 2020 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    Fabulous craftsmanship – you are very talented. I love the re-purposing of the leather jacket too!

  16. darrelle
    Posted June 30, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Absolutely gorgeous Doug. Just beautiful.

  17. Posted June 30, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Doug, your work is fabulous and intriguing. These are truly one of a kind pieces (bespoke as some might say), and I love that you re-purposed hide from your father’s jacket. How stable is the three-legged table and how much weight can it safely support? The wood is stunning. Your smile seems to reveal the satisfaction you get from such a wonderful hobby!


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