Reader's Gallery

Coffee table

comments (17) December 2nd, 2011 in Reader's Gallery

newbie22 newbie22, member
thumbs up 40 users recommend

 - CLICK TO ENLARGE Photo: Taylor Bowers

Found this piece of wood in the rafters of my grandfathers garage in Washington State. Apparently he used to take his chain saw down to Alki Beach and cut up drift wood, large driftwood. Not too sure what kind of wood it is, maybe cypress? any other ideas would be nice. It has an aroma to it when you cut it, but nothing ive smelled before. The legs I turned from cherry and they are screwed into the bottom with threads inserted into the bottom. I have inlayed two black walnut butterflys, tell me if you can spot them both. The grain was a cream color before i applied the oil, consequently it darkened to the same color as the inlays...amazing sometimes how the wood really surprises you when you finish it. 

Design or Plan used: My own design

posted in: Reader's Gallery, table, , cherry, rustic, inlay, asian inspired

Comments (17)

shatzie shatzie writes: gettingwoody you are completely out of line. after reading your comments i truly feel sorry for your students. i realize you take issue with the proportion(or lack there of) of the legs, but at the end of the day it is an attractive and imaginative use of a piece of found wood. to ridicule his results-without anything remotely close to a constructive suggestion-is petty and just plain mean-spirited. you strike me as one of those types whose insecurities translate into unrealistic delusions of self worth and importance. btw, i make my living by designing and constructing contemporary furniture using old growth cypress and long leaf pine exclusively and have taught several workshops also, and i would never dream of critiquing anyone's(pro or hobbyist)work with such a myopic,narrow minded approach. i am the furthest thing from some pc, liberal-to-the-point-of-being-ridiculous,sweet and gentle kind of guy, but if you can't add something positive or remotely encouraging, keep it to yourself. hey newbie22, good effort and keep at it. if you made the piece for yourself and you're happy with the results, that's all that matters
Posted: 8:09 pm on January 23rd

gamblermichael gamblermichael writes: For goodness sake, people... Lighten up. It's a beautiful piece of wood. Maybe the leg design needs work, but I love the finish and the overall effect. I think the piece would have been better put to use as "an object d'art" for the wall or something, but it's still nice.
Posted: 7:22 am on January 7th

McCanon McCanon writes: I LIKE THIS PIECE.

A very creative person or business would love to own this and put it to good use. I can see a creative team sitting around this table developing a "Bud Lite" ad for the Super Bowl. The mind needs to be free of stigma and history to create NEW. This table brings no reservations, what so ever, to the creative thinking process. Do you think the "Bud Lite" crew sits around an 20 foot Walnut board room table with pedestal legs? Wearing suits and neck ties.......? It's refreshing to see someone put one foot over the line. Learning and following the "rules" in any profession is a must for success.....but we must "break" the rules to release untapped creativity that we possess. If this never happens, then all of our stools would be a "one leg with a 1x6 nailed on one top and used for milking".

I hope there's a boat load of wood like this in the rafters.
Posted: 9:38 am on December 30th

StevenLee StevenLee writes: I second what JROTH33139 said. Perhaps a glass top would make it more functional, but I like it for what it is.
Posted: 12:57 am on December 26th

TheJoeShow TheJoeShow writes: I think it is beautiful and would be happy to have it in my home particularly because of your choice of legs.

Don't worry traditionalists its a big wide world with room for everyone!

Posted: 11:00 am on December 6th

zbop zbop writes: Oops. Sorry Gettingwoody for the ie instead of a y.

Posted: 4:15 pm on December 4th

zbop zbop writes: It's called constructive criticism. Anyone who can't handle it shouldn't post their "furniture" on the site. Hopefully Newbie22's next efforts will meet more encouraging remarks from people like Gettingwoodie and me. And "Gettingwoodie" and "zbop" are no more anonymous than "D83" or " jroth33139". You two are obviously some of those liberal politically correct individuals with your concern about "rude and hurtful comments" crap. Why do I waste my breath on you. Gettingwoodie told it like it is.
Posted: 4:13 pm on December 4th

Gettingwoody Gettingwoody writes: D83 jroth33139 In no way would I have answered the way I did if I believed that the "furniture", if you call it that, was something that deemed other wise, I have been teaching fine woodworking at multiple universities and challenge my students to push forward in the field. I use this site for examples to show how many people are using different ideas to incorporate into their work. I normally don't step in, but when you are lying to an individual about the quality of their work i really had to step in. If one of my students turned work like this in to me for their portfolio i would ask them to switch majors, because clearly this isn't the major for them.
Posted: 3:20 pm on December 4th

jroth33139 jroth33139 writes: I wouldn't sweat it, D83. Posting unreasoned, hurtful, and anonymous comments about another's work reflects more on the poster than the piece. Such behavior is called "trolling," and while I have seen it on other websites, I had not seen it on FWW, until now. Pity.
Posted: 3:32 am on December 4th

D83 D83 writes: Gettingwoody and Zbop both your comments are uncalled for. This piece is beautiful and I'm ashamed to hear that someone would write such a hurtful comment to someone who has really put a lot of thought, time and effort into something. It might not be your taste but you have no right to bash someone else's style. If you don't like the peice there is nothing wrong in voicing your opinion but when you become hurtful it's just rude.
Posted: 11:36 pm on December 3rd

zbop zbop writes: Thank you, Gettingwoody. I'm glad to see that there is someone out there who agrees with me. I was trying to be nice with my suggestion of using it on the wall as art. It seems that now just about anything will qualify as furniture in some people's mind. I just don't get it.
Posted: 10:43 pm on December 3rd

Gettingwoody Gettingwoody writes: This is probably one of the worst examples of contemporary furniture that I have ever been alive to see. I wouldn't even use it as firewood,for it would insult the beauty of the fire it self. I am just saddened to see how the newer generation is destroying my loved profession. I would hope that this piece was put on this site as a joke or deterrence of what not to do.
Posted: 7:03 pm on December 3rd

zbop zbop writes: There you have it. Some people will put anything in front of their sofa.
Posted: 6:25 pm on December 3rd

jroth33139 jroth33139 writes: I think it is beautiful, and like it quite a bit.

I don't see the legs as out of proportion to the top; if you look at much of Nakashima's work, the legs of similar proportions, and his pieces are considered masterpieces. I would echo D83's comments on how the relationship of the legs to the top highlights the unique shape of the top, and the shape of the piece just "flows" across the space beautifully. Your eye lingers on the details as you move along the top -- he really captured the "soul of the tree." I want to touch it!

It appears to be sufficiently functional, if that is a criteria: I count three "landing spots" along the front of it for coffee cups/newspapers, which is ample if it is placed in front of a couch. No, my child couldn't spread out his homework on it and use it for a desk like he uses mine, but for a studio piece, I think it is sufficiently utilitarian.

(It is also nicely photographed, by the way, although I think a 3/4 view, taken from about eye level, would be a useful perspective as well.)

I also disagree with the implication that the work reflects a lack of craftsmanship or care. The legs were hand-turned, and the inlayed butterflies are nicely done. Decisions regarding how to surface the top to highlight the contrast between the smooth surface and live edge shows thoughtfulness.

The work is a one-of-a-kind piece with perhaps an emotional or historical attachment for the individual who made it. I applaud the creativity. This isn't taken out of some plan. There is lots of room in our craft for all sorts of genres. Not everyone wants yet another reproduction of a 19th century desk, however well executed. A critique for a piece like this should be more than whether you personally like it. The question is whether, given what he was trying to accomplish, did he succeed? My opinion is yes. Bravo.
Posted: 4:36 am on December 3rd

D83 D83 writes: I totally disagree with zbop. Just because this piece isn't on the wall for display doesn't mean it isn't art. Art can be anything and this piece of furniture is a wonderful piece of art. Not all pieces of furniture are fully functional and so this piece doesn't need to be either. It's the look that catches your attention and the look that makes it great. It's a conversation piece and a place to hold my magazines/coffe (with a coaster of course). Which is basically all you really have a "coffee" table for anyways. The legs are perfectly positioned to maintain not only the natural beauty of this piece but also to successfully balance out the weight of the driftwood evenly across. Anthor factor I love about this piece is that the legs are not overwhelming and therefore don't take away from the elegance of the driftwood it's self. Beautifully done! I absolutely love it! Both as an artistic and functional work of art.
Posted: 6:38 pm on December 2nd

zbop zbop writes: Okay, I'm going to go out on a limb and expand my comment. You obviously saw the beauty in this piece of wood. But in my opinion, the same irregular shape that makes this piece beautiful makes it impractical for the purpose for which you chose to use it, and the legs are totally out of proportion to the rest of it. Where this piece would truly shine would be on the wall (obviously without the legs) as a piece of natural, abstract art. Can you see and at least somewhat agree with what I am saying?
Posted: 11:47 am on December 2nd

zbop zbop writes: Of your creation and several of the ones just before you, putting something in the way of "legs"
on a board or chunk of wood and then applying a finish does not a piece of furniture make.
Posted: 11:16 am on December 2nd

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