Dimensions: 45.7cm (H) x 152.4cm (W) x 53.3cm (D) / 18" (H) x 60" (W) x 21" (D)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
The V bench’s top and legs are the result of some creative cutting and rejoining of a single, beautiful walnut board. I do this in a way that avoids virtually any waste and features continuous grain alignment of the top, through the miter joints, to the legs that return to the floor. The overall shape of the top is a right triangle, with one edge–the hypotenuse– longer than the other. This creates a pleasing, varied visual effect when viewed from different vantage points.
On the underside of the top, two rails attach to the legs, on either side off the v-shaped gap, with mortise and tenon joinery. The rails run parallel to the v- gap the entire length of the bench, converging into one joined member that attaches to the single leg, at the other end, with mortises and tenons. Above, the bench top locks into the leg with a precise, hand cut dovetail which extends with chamfered edges slightly proud of the front edge, its long slender shape echoing that of the bench’s.
The V bench is rugged and sculptural; its smooth angular edges, reveals, and joinery are made to be explored with both hands and eyes. It is a dramatic and highly interactive piece whether placed along a wall or in the middle of a room. Its height allows it to easily double as both a bench and coffee table. As with all my pieces, it comes signed and numbered. It has a hand-rubbed oil finish.
Hometown: Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Based in: Edgecomb, Maine
Eben Blaney, the son of a midcoast Maine wooden boat builder, began working professionally in custom wood shops over 30 years ago–at first simply as a familiar means to fund other creative endeavors as well as to help fund a college education.
He pieced together a BA focusing on creative writing, art and music while attending schools in New York (Hofstra U), Seattle (North Seattle Community College) and back at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, where he continued with graduate work in New England and American Studies.
All this time Blaney supported himself by working in cabinet shops on both the west and east coasts where he accumulated experience and learned from many talented designers and craftsmen.
For several years it was his love of music and guitar playing that occupied his main creative focus, but a job in a small custom furniture shop introduced Blaney to a more artistic approach to designing and building objects which he quickly embraced.
By the late 90’s woodworking and furniture design in particular won out over serious musical ambitions and academic pursuits thus becoming Blaney’s full-time focus. He started his own business in Portland –Eben Blaney Fine Furniture –and two years later, in 2002, designed and built his present shop up the coast in Edgecomb.
Since then Blaney has dedicated himself to creating pieces expressive of his evolving artistic vision. His growing portfolio of original designs reflects his continual experimentation with new forms combined with the widely varied custom projects he regularly executes for clients.
Influences to his work are wide-ranging, with roots tracing back to elements of Japanese, Shaker and mid-century Scandinavian designs. Blaney also credits several notable craftsmen and designers he has worked with for helping to shape his work. He adds to that: the exposure as a youth to African art and artifacts that his grandfather brought back from teaching in Kenya and the influential shapes and structures of the wooden boats he watched being built by his father.
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