Bespoke Furniture – Behind the Scenes.
I create unique pieces for homes around the world. It is always thrilling to work with new ideas and design inspiration that challenge and prove rewarding in so many ways.
My Equatorial Star Map Table is a commission work for a family of expatriate professionals in Bangkok, who literally wanted a one-of-a-kind dining table for their brand new home – which could also follow them in their next overseas posting.
The challenge was to find one full, solid slab with outstanding grain in the required dimensions. Following a handful of road trips to various provinces, the hunt prize came in the form of a no-longer wanted table from a rural family in Northern Thailand.
Below are the pictures of the table at its previous home.
It takes eye and experience to see the potential beauty in this gem-in-the-raw. The wood is Thai Makha (Afzelia xylocarpa, ไม้มะค่า), a highly prized, rare hardwood which gives an outstanding finish. The wood is hard, heavy and dense and develops a beautiful patina as it ages.
As the slab was covered with thick varnished in its prior ‘life’, the first step was to strip off the coating on the wood and reset the grain to its original state.
Some water gently poured on the unfinished top gives a (muted) glimpse of how the top will look once hand rubbed with vegetal oil.
In an effort to preserve the beauty of the table in the case of the centerpiece getting removed, Faisal decides to add six brass tube inserts: these guide the mounting bolts, while their shape, material and position aesthetically blend with the table. Form and function effortlessly combine.
A few hours of hand rubbing will be necessary before the second coat and the second hand rubbing, which will bring out all the beauty of the wood. This is the last stage: one of the most time-intensive and also one of the most important to bring out the best the wood has to offer.
The Equatorial Star Map Table is completed.
The base was engineered in blackened steel bars to support the weight of the solid slab top and the centerpiece.