Feathered Birch, curly maple
New Hampshire-based artisan David Lamb [b. 1958, Laconia, NH] is recognized as one of the most gifted American furniture makers working today. Characterized by exquisite craftsmanship and extraordinary creativity, Lamb’s signature style is a unique blend of period forms, Shaker sensibilities, classic re-interpretations and contemporary influences. His latest commission, Four Seasons of Acadia, is a commemorative piece for Acadia National Park’s 2016 Centennial Celebration and a beautiful example of the artist’s breathtaking facility in manipulating wood to create an aesthetic that is visually arresting and utterly engaging. Although modestly sized – approximately five feet high and a little over two feet wide – this elegant cabinet-on-stand packs an incredible visual punch. Lamb has chosen a highly feathered birch veneer, cut from the crotch of the tree, for the façade and aspects of the legs. He has dyed this veneer dark black, creating a look that he calls ‘black ice’ to evoke thoughts of New England’s darker winter months. For the rest of the cabinet’s exterior, Lamb has chosen a curly maple, also dyed in black, but with a less concentrated finish to allow the wood’s spectacular figuring to shine through. “I wanted to create an exceptional visual piece, leveraging the illusory effects inherent to the feathered figuring in the wood to evoke other repetitive patterns seen in nature – a river’s eddy, a fern’s growth, a cirrus cloud. This fractal, angular effect is one I’ve only created a couple of times now, but I find it incredibly exciting.” When the cabinet is opened, spring, summer and fall – rendered in a lush curly maple – burst into view. The interior is dominated by a richly carved panel depicting the stone bridges, trees and plants common to the park. “This subject matter is a tribute to the beautiful carriage roads constructed by John D. Rockefeller throughout Acadia National Park and the bridge represents the span of 100 years, a nod to the park’s centenary.” Lamb was raised in New Hampshire’s Canterbury Shaker Village and apprenticed with the master European cabinetmaker Alejandro de la Cruz. Following this traditional training, he enrolled in Boston University’s Program in Artisanry where he studied under fellow Furniture Master Jere Osgood and Alphonse Matia. Lamb is the recipient of numerous design awards and his work has been featured in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, Traditional Home Magazine, the New York Times, and NH Home Magazine. He is a founding member of the NH Furniture Masters Association – an organization dedicated to continuing the state’s legacy of fine furniture making – and served as the state’s fifth Artist Laureate from 2010 to 2014.