The Tale of the Table

June 20, 2016

The Tale of the Table

It is always extremely gratifying when people share their experiences with the pieces we create. We recently received a lovely letter from Gayle and Frank Zaunscherb regarding a table we crafted for them inspired by our Steller post of their project. Read on...

"After sixteen years, our old dining table, having survived countless meals, four teenagers and a beer pong tournament or two, had seen better days.

Both an on-line search and several extensive shopping trips turned up nothing that excited us. Our new house needed something that reflected our tastes and fit a slightly awkward sized space.

A night out at Lake Road, a cool restaurant in Hamilton, introduced us to very intriguing serving boards. On asking the owner where he got them from, he recommended contacting Studio 50 in Paris. Did we know where that was? Yes, just ten minutes from our house.

On calling Kim and Steve, we were invited to visit their new studio and look through their selection of wood. After viewing a number of boards in the workshop, one stood out because of its unique colouration. We learned about spalted maple from Steve, who explained the striations were caused by a fungus. We loved it, but were a little disappointed thinking it was the only piece they had. “No,” they said. “We’ll bring in more pieces cut from the same tree”. Minutes later we were turning and flipping the boards to see how they could be joined to show off the grain in the table and a matching bench. Kim and Steve explained the process for designing and fabricating the base and legs, and soon we had our design.

Unlike a store-bought piece of furniture made by an unknown person, in an unknown location and assembled in a factory from unknown materials, we discovered the delight in engaging with the artisan about the design, learning about where the wood was harvested - ours from a felled tree near Woodstock - seeing the workshop and the actual tools used, and shaking the hand of the maker.

On the day of our table’s delivery, Kim and Steve brought in the pieces, assembled the top to the base, placed it in the dining room, and set the bench in place. The set fit perfectly and looked incredible in the room. We admired the way the boards were joined to show off the grain, felt the satiny smooth top accentuated by perfect imperfections, the live edges, and the sturdy metal base. We were honoured to have them sit and enjoy the very first coffee and conversation around the table.

Since then we have had several dinners with family and friends and every time the tale of the table has been ingrained in the conversation.

From the first contact, through the whole design, selection and creation process, up to delivery and set up, our experience with Steve and Kim of Studio 50 was one of warmth, confidence in their skills, and appreciation for their passion for their craft. We enjoyed working with them so much, we have another piece of wood - a crotch from a dying black walnut tree felled in Paris – drying to the right moisture content, and waiting to become a new coffee table."

Gayle and Frank Zaunscherb