Tree Stump Table Ideas
Tree stump tables are a unique piece of functional art, geared to the high-end interior design industry. Hand-made in the USA of reclaimed American trees, each piece is one-of-a-kind and takes between two to four years to make. A variety of trees are selected based on specific criteria which include availability, functionality, and beauty. Some of the more readily available woods include ash, maple, oak, eucalyptus, walnut, cedar, juniper, pine. No tree is ever specifically cut to make a tree stump table. Each recycled tree, cleared for construction or end of life cycle, is time-honored and dates between twenty to two-hundred years old.
Though minuscule compared to the time it takes for a tree to grow, the necessary duration to properly cure the fresh cut wood is considerable. The sculptor must now exercise patience, waiting two to four years, based on the size and species of the log. Air-drying is the favored process. As this happens, the wood will check (crack), which is a natural process that is inherent to the nature of wood. This checking is considered an accent and design feature, not a flaw and in no way compromises the quality or structure of the piece. Though kiln-drying is also a possibility to quicken the cure time, this procedure creates a slightly different finished look with wider checking. A continual supply of new wood is necessary for a perpetual cycle of storing, drying, sculpting and finishing for market release.
When the wood is at last dry enough, the sculpting and design begin. At this point, wood chisels and rubber mallets remove the bark, which can be a slow and painstaking process or a five-minute procedure, depending on the species. Once skinned, the chainsaw is powered up to level the piece and remove any undesired limbs or appendages. The log itself usually dictates the height and shape, as the artist works with the basic existing form. After skinning and leveling, the grinder removes bark remnants for initial shaping and smoothing. Then an orbital hand-sander is used to create the final, velvety surface. Occasionally, the bark is left intact on the sides with a finished top, though only certain species will allow this permanent adhesion. On other species, a loose bark that falls off by itself sometimes reveals a textured surface whose rugged beauty dictates the preservation of that natural state with only minor wire brushing and smoothing of the top surface. Finally, each tree stump table is finished with eco-friendly or low v.o.c. stains, oils, waxes, and sealers.
The lore of trees is woven through time. Held sacred by all recorded ancient civilizations, religions and mythologies, there is profound dignity in a tree, extending up from the earth as a natural totem of power and protection. Throughout history, trees have offered a myriad of gifts: shelter, shade, moisture, fruits, flowers, medicine, oxygen, clean air, fertility, beauty, and grandeur. And so, as the tree has given us life, instead of being relegated to sawdust, decay or landfill, it is only fitting that it be resurrected to live again as art. The presence of a tree stump table in the home provides direct contact with the organic beauty and healing power of nature while serving as a gentle reminder of our important role as stewards of the planet. Please visit our website to view the variety of styles available.
Kate Cunningham has worked as a visual artist, singer, songwriter (ASCAP), teacher of meditation and yoga (CYT) and businesswoman for many years. She owns and operates Kate Cunningham Company, which designs and manufactures one-of-a-kind, art furniture for the high-end trade. Her tree stump tables are handmade in the USA from reclaimed materials.
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