Recent Projects



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Bubinga Desk

Bubinga Desk

Bubinga Desk

Custom designed and built from an old growth African Bubinga tree.   The client specs included space for multiple computer screens for use in his home office. The slab was rough cut at the mill to approximate size and was shipped to the studio by truck as it weighed over 500 pounds! The slab was 3″thick by 16 feet long by 50″wide. For ease in transport it was cut into 2 sections using rough dimensions for the desktop and future projects. The legs were made of hard rock maple.  The leg tenons went thru mortises in the table top and are secured with ebony wedges.  The finished dimensions are 84″x 42″ x 2.5″.  The sheer weight of the top made it very difficult to work with…. thank goodness for friends! Hand planned, machine and hand sanded with a poly and wax finish.  

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Jim Whitman Exhibition at Sally Francisco Gallery, Peters Valley February 22 – March

Jim Whitman Exhibition at Sally Francisco Gallery, Peters Valley February 22 – March

“Turning the Tables” Exhibition of Master Wood Worker, Jim Whitman

This is an exhibition of work by Master wood worker, Jim Whitman featuring 10 hand crafted tables and various wood sculptures and accessories. Tables range from cocktail and coffee to conference tables. This a show case for Whitman’s work over the past 30 years. All are varied in style and construction methods. Wood has been harvested from Jim’s farm and surrounding area. His collection of species includes, cherry, walnut slabs, Red and White Oak, Spalted Maple, and some rare Elm. Jim will be introducing a new design series of quilt top tables. These pieces are carved and painted tops with various quilt motifs. The exhibition begins at February 22, 2104 and continues till the end of march. Admission if free. The hours of the show are from 11:00am to 6:00pm, 7 days a week. for directions to Sally Francisco Gallery at Peters Valley Arts Center click here Spalted Elm Coffee Table SPALTED ELM COFFEE TABLE 42″l. X 26″w. X 17″h. The top is random edge spalted Elm with Black Walnut breadboard ends that are sculpted and carved. The vertical base is Black Walnut with a Birdseye Maple horizontal stringer. The finish is Shellac and hand rubbed Poly. End grain island coffee table END GRAIN ISLAND COFFEE TABLE 32″L. x19″W. x 17″h. The end grain center island is made up of eight different species of wood. It is surrounded by a Black Walnut, half lapped frame with Ebony plugs. The aprons and legs are Black Walnut using thru tennons wedged with Ebony. The slatted under shelf is Red Teak. The finish is Shellac and Tung oil. Sofa Table SOFA TABLE 72″l X 27″h. X 12″w. The top is random edged Ash supported by Walnut cross members secured  to the Maple aprons. The legs are Black Walnut. The finish is five coats of hand rubbed Poly. Quilt table QUILT TABLE # 1 36″l X 20″ X 18″h The quilt design is carved into the 2″Poplar top. The carved design is then Painted with milk paint and sealed with water based Poly. The legs and aprons are Black Walnut finished with hand rubbed Poly. Quilt table QUILT TABLE # 2 37″l. X 21″w. X 18″h. The quilt design is carved into the Aspen top. The carved design is then painted with Acrylic paint and sealed with water based Poly. The tapered legs and aprons are Black Walnut finished with shellac and hand rubbed Poly. Foundry Gear Coffee Table FOUNDRY GEAR COFFEE TABLE    26″diameter X 18″h. This table is made using three different wood patterns that were used to make sand molds for casting metal parts .They date back to the early 19 hundreds. They are assembled to make this table with a glass top. Framed Bass Wood Rock Carving FRAMED BASS WOOD ROCK CARVING 16″w X17 1/2″h X 2″d The river rocks are carved in Bass wood and framed in  Maple with Ebony plugs. The finish is shellac and wax. River Rock Sculpture RIVER ROCK SCULPTURE ON A CHERRY SLAB 27″h X 16″w The rocks are carved into the Cherry plank. Additional rocks  made of Walnut, Maple, Poplar and Rosewood were glued on and carved for added dimension as well as texture and color. This type of sculpture is easily hung on the wall using a French cleat. River Rocks On Birds eye Maple RIVER ROCKS ON BIRDS EYE MAPLE. 11 1/2″h X 20 1/2″h The Back ground is solid Birds eye Maple mortised and tenoned with  Walnut pegs. The rivers rocks are epoxyed into pockets carved into the Maple. The Maple panel is suspended into the Cherry frame with brass bars allowing it to float. Walnut Slab Conference Table WALNUT SLAB CONFERENCE TABLE 120″”l. X 36″w. X 30″h. This Walnut slab was found in an old barn during an auction. It was rough sawn and coated with pigeon dung .Hand planing and sanding revealed the beautiful wood. The base has Walnut slabs joined with an Oak runner. End Grain Slab Coffee Table END GRAIN SLAB COFFEE TABLE 37″l. X18″w.X 18″h. The top is secured to the apron using sliding dovetail rails to allow for seasonal changes. The apron is maple with routed grooves painted black. The legs are Walnut. Carved rocks into a walnut crotch slab CARVED ROCKS INTO A WALNUT CROTCH SLAB 26″ h X 19″w. These rocks are carved into the Walnut slab . Other rocks were added using varied species of wood glued in place and carved. The light colored sap wood gives a sense of water flowing through the rocks.

About the Artistjlw

Jim Whitman has been working with wood for over forty years.  He started woodworking as a hobby while directing his graphic design studio in Clifton, New Jersey. After graduating high school he studied illustration for two years at The Art Students League in New York City.  He freelanced as an illustrator and designer for many New York ad agencies before starting his own graphic design business in 1960.  These skills have proved invaluable in designing his furniture, carving and sculpture. In 1973 Jim and his family moved to a farm in rural Lafayette, New Jersey.  Jim built a barn to house his wood shop hobby.  During this time he was introduced to the Peters Valley Craft Education Center in nearby Layton, NJ.   He was inspired by many great teachers taking classes from some of woodworking’s eminent personalities such as Tage Frid, Sam Maloof, Jere Osgood, Mack Headley and Toshio Odote.   Jim was so passionate about the mission of teaching crafts that he served on the Peters Valley Board of Directors for twenty years. Thru all these years, Peters Valley has been  an ongoing education for Jim both  for craft and it’s community. In 2001 Jim retired from his graphics business to continue with his ever increasing woodworking for commissions as well as teaching and consulting. In 2012 Jim had a book published titled “The Woodworker’s Studio  Handbook.

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THE WOODWORKING STUDIO

      The Wood Working Studio: The bench room in the studio has all the hand tools in easy reach to the work bench. I also designed and built the hanging tool closet.

Tool cabinet holds most of the hand tools for quick selection.

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CARVED WALL HANGING OF RIVER ROCKS

CARVED WALL HANGING OF RIVER ROCKS

River Rocks This wood sculpture was carved into a cherry plank with additional rocks of walnut, maple and poplar were added and carved. It is hung with a French cleat.

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The Furniture Society Conference in Maine

I just returned home after attending the Furniture Society Conference at the Maine College of Art in Portland. www.furnituresociety.org I was representing Peters Valley Craft Center. This is the first time the Valley was represented at any of the Societies Conferences. It was a enlightening experience and I got to see some great new talent. This worked out well for recruiting both students as well as potential new teachers for 2013 Peters Valley sessions. Peters Valley Craft Center is constantly looking to recruit new talented teachers and students. The Furniture Society Conference at the Maine College of Art, turned out to be a hot bed for such talent.

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The Woodworker’s Studio Handbook by Jim Whitman

The Woodworker’s Studio Handbook by Jim Whitman

This is Jim’s first book on woodworking. The Woodworker’s Studio Handbook was over a year in the making. It is published by Quarry Books and is available on Amazon and in most book stores. Many phases of woodworking are covered in the book. It teaches joinery, lamination, routing, turning, carving and finishing – core woodworking skills in over 250 full color photographs, complete with illustrated tool guides. This is a must have addition to the library of woodworkers of all levels. The book illustrates the steps for 20 beautiful teaching projects for all skill levels, including a picture frame, a small cabinet, a Shaker style table turned bowls and more, skills you will immediately be able to apply to your own projects! This book engages your creativity with reclaiming recycled wood using green wood, or using a sketchbook and drafting tools to design original projects.

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Study Wood Carving for Beginners with Jim Whitman

Study Wood Carving for Beginners with Jim Whitman

It will be a 5 day class at the Peters Valley Craft Center in Layton, New Jersey, August 10th thru the 14th. Jim will begin by teaching how to sharpen your chisels and knives and keep them sharp. An emphasis will be made on how to choose the correct wood and to read the grain while carving your project. The student will begin with simple flower carving and proceed to an eagle head. Students can also bring their own projects.  (See www.petersvalley.org  for more details and registration).

You will be supplied the wood for carving (Bass wood or Mahogany) as well as the gold leaf.  Students should bring their own chisels and knives. Chisels will be supplied if you don’t have any.

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