Stone and wood Bridge Bench

  • Brian Benham

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, a 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, where he had a granite boulder craned in through the roof of a house and carved it 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 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. The bench is approximately: 42″ long 14″ wide 18″ seating height 20ish” high with the rock Project Location, Black Forest Colorado, in Colorado Springs