This meditation bench brings the outside in by featuring a stone as one of the legs to hold up the top, creating a great place to be alone with your thoughts and meditate.
This bench is balanced with a hollowed granite leg, ground out by hand with the aid of a diamond drill bit and an angle grinder to provide a more manageable weight.
I hand-carved a peek-a-boo opening in the mahogany seat to expose the granite for aesthetic interest while supporting the seat with a custom-fabricated metal bracket underneath for stability. The wooden leg is mortised securely through the top and wedged in place with walnut wedges. The supporting walnut arch spanning from one leg to the underside of the seat is one piece. The arch passes through a mortise in each of the cross braces, which are precisely spaced to provide artistic interest and balance. Each mortise was cut by hand with a mallet and chisel.
This silky-smooth bench was built without nails or screws and made from high-quality hardwood, richly-grained African mahogany that begs to be touched. The seat and one leg are African mahogany, and the wedges, arch, and cross braces are walnut. The beautifully placed granite leg is local Colorado granite with natural lichen. The rich reddish-brown mahogany against the subtle soft green color of the lichen provides a sense of stability and harmony.
The design inspiration for having the rock poke through the bench top came from an architect friend, who had a granite boulder craned in through the roof of a house and carved into a gas fireplace. The architect’s stories about how challenging the project was to integrate such an organic piece in an otherwise modern home got me thinking about how I could incorporate organic shapes into my furniture. The arch design came from one of my favorite hiking places in the Cascades, a bridge that spans across Multnomah Falls.
Since publishing this work, I have been told that the design is stupid as only one person can sit on the bench at a time. Those opinions are the beauty of art, as everyone interprets it differently, and not everyone will get its purpose. However, subconsciously, I think the design spoke well for itself, as its purpose is for one person to be alone and meditate. Its deeper meaning may not be obvious or understood by everyone. However, its design has at least set the stage as only one person can comfortably sit on it at a time.
This level of detail is indicative of my work. I try to create a single focal point to catch the viewer’s eye and draw them in. Then, once they get up close to a piece and start interacting with it, they will start to see all the additional details.
I like how the bench top is carefully carved so it sits around the stone and how the weight of the stone helps balance the piece. They start to understand how it was built as they see the joinery detail, of how the tenon comes through the top and is wedged in place.
You will appreciate these details when having custom furniture built for your home.
The bench is approximate:
18″ seating height
20ish” high with the rock