Oak wine barrels are fascinating, not just because of the nectar of the gods they provide us, but their construction and shape are beguiling: All curves and roundness, even the flat barrel tops and bottoms are circular.
Alas, after a few fermentations, these marvelous constructs are consigned to the burn pit.
But not here at JohnsonArts.
A local vintner suggested that I take two of his surplus barrels and make a stool.
This I did.
The Rubicon was opting for non-barrel staves for the all-important apron.
Stools are similar in structure to tables: there are legs, there is an apron, and there is a top, the usable surface. It is the apron to which the legs and the top are attached and formed the central, structural element.
This was the only element of the stool NOT formed from the barrel, and it proved a sound choice.
What followed was me simply looking at the staves and following their forms, with the exercise of a bit of artisanal legerdemain, such as deftly shaping the upper ends of the legs to fit flush to the apron with a bit of a lip for solidity.
The foot rails too were purposefully crafted to retain their delicious curvature.
The seat of the stool is wine-side up.
Then, many coats of urethane were applied to render a smooth, gleaming surface, and bring out the natural colours of the oak.