Coffee Table Series

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The first in a series of coffee tables, a lozenge-shaped slab, 30″ x 72″ x 16.5″ high

I’ve begun making a series of coffee tables, encouraged by a recent commission from my brother in law to make one for my sister’s 50th birthday later this month. It’s always easier to make things in small multiples, with variation in material, proportion and construction style. I had honestly never given much thought to the idea of a coffee table, but am discovering that it’s the perfect form to experiment with some new ideas. I also like that the coffee table is inherently casual, functioning as a site for dining, reading, writing, as a footrest and even as seating. Plus, I have a stockpile of wood I’ve been saving that is ideally suited to the task.

The first table to come off the bench is for our own use, a lozenge-shaped monster I cut from a solid slab of locally-milled Monterey cypress, three inches thick. The table has bent wire legs I salvaged from a 1950’s era production table that I plan to tool up to replicate in my shop. To me, the table bridges a Southern Californian ethos of casual modernism with a North Californian ethos of forest stewardship and artisanry.

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I like the ordinariness of the grain pattern; you can feel the girth of the tree

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I like any piece of furniture to have a stance, an attitude

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