I am guilty of being the photographer; unfortunately, my photographic abilities
are a work in progress. Lighting was problematic. The table
is very uniform in color, with perhaps the top being just a shade lighter.
The morning I photographed the table, I had too much light bouncing off
the top and not enough on the lower portions of the table; it gives a false
impression of being much lighter on the top and darker on the bottom than
it is in reality. There will be another photo shoot coming up, and
new pictures will be added as they become available. This is, of course,
unless the table sells first.
Greg Onealís background in art and woodworking began at an early age.
It is only natural Carl Oneal, Gregís father, a carpenter in theconstruction
trade, would provide Greg with his first toolbox; a toolbox filled with
the required saws, squares, hammers, and all of the other things for making sawdust & getting splinters.
In addition to carpentry, Gregís father also instilled in him a great love
for the out-of-doors and its wildlife. Both of these things have held
Gregís interest and would lead him in the direction that has made him the
professional woodworker & artist he is today. I have never
met a man other than Greg with such a God-given astute, natural gift to
create such beautiful objects from things like clay, bronze, and wood.
Greg has only recently finished this incredible table. It is the
culmination of over 400 hours of painstakingly creative efforts.
He has worked on this particular table over a period of two years.
He worked only during those times that were especially conducive to practicing
his craft to the fullest of his abilities.
There are a couple things of particular interest about the wood utilized
in this table. Greg had come across and acquired the wood by chance ten years ago. The wood is Teak, and there was enough of it to
do the entire tabletop and apron. The legs are also Teak but cut
from a different piece of wood. The inherent uniqueness of this piece
of wood is the strong fiddleback grain pattern running through it.
It is an extremely rare and exceptional piece of wood. Greg had hesitated
how to best utilize this particular piece of Teak the last ten years before
cutting into it. When I quizzed Greg on creating another table
of its equal, he explained to me finding a piece of Teak which has aged
this long with its unique grain pattern would border on the impossible.
This table is truly one-of-a-kind.
The actual chessboard is built right into the tabletop itself, flush
with the tabletop. The dark squares are Teak and the light squares
are Birdís-eye Maple. The squares are regulation tournament size,
2¼". There is a solid Ebony strip separating the squares
from the surrounding tabletop. There is an Ebony border around the outside edge of
the entire table. You will find other finely tooled accents of solid
Ebony on the drawer pulls and legs. There is a drawer on each side
of the table. The solid Ebony drawer pulls are hand carved Ebony
The motif is that of a larger shell design, adorned atop with a smaller
shell carved from Ivory. In addition, two Eagle legs, with tendons,
culminating in clawed feet gripping a ball straddle across the top
of the two shells, miniatures in the same motif as is seen in the legs.
The detail seen in the eagle claws & carving of the shells on both
the drawer pulls, together with the tendonized legs leading to the feet
of the table, takes oneís breath away. You can literally sense the
blood running through the limbs of these miniature sculptures. The
legs were carved in a modified Queen Ann style, with a hand carved and dished
out area on four sides. The ridges coming down the legs create tendons
to the feet.
The construction techniques that Greg has utilized are a culmination
of 20 years of professional woodworking experience. I might add that
eight of those years had specialized in chessboard construction for Legend
Products. Greg has developed a unique, systemized construction technique for boards and tables. This consists of a technologically sound
internal splining system, which maximizes the stability of the chessboards
and chess tables he creates.
It is obvious to me when I view the pictures on different aspects of
this table that a great deal of blood, sweat, natural talent, and hair
loss has gone into developing the technique to create such a wonderful
piece of art.