The lumberjack in me has always had a soft spot for live edge tables. There’s something natural, raw, and authentic about them that I love. With the soft opening of the new bar in the Club, there seemed to be two spots well suited for a live edge table: the Whisky Corner and the work-in-progress Tweed Room. If there was more lumberjack in me, with additional skills in curing and sealing, I’d have chopped down my own tree and made my own table.
Lacking those skills, I reached out to Colleen Smith of Colleen Smith Designs. With a small workshop in South San Francisco, she makes almost-daily visits to various lumber yards to find choice pieces of wood for her clients. Having toured our space, her charter was to find two coffee tables for two our two different rooms.
In the Whisky Corner, Colleen found us a gorgeous Red Gum Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) piece. Red Gum is a plantation species in many parts of the world, but is native to Australia. The tree can grow to 148 ft tall; it has smooth bark, ranging in color from white and grey to red-brown, which is shed in long ribbons. It has a large, dense crown of leaves and is fast growing. The tree grows straight under favorable conditions, but can develop twisted branches in drier conditions. River Reds and many other eucalypts have an ominous nickname, “Widow Maker”, as they have a habit of dropping large boughs (often half the diameter of the trunk) without warning.
The piece that Colleen found for us was salvaged from a tree in Santa Barbara and is “highly unusual in it’s shape,” and the figure (or grain) is “truly stunning.” We agree 100%. It’s about 56″ long, 21″ at the center and 22-28″ on the ends and 18″ high, and it weighs about 600 pounds. Over time, the coloring should deepen on the top finished grain while the sides should remain gray.
In the Tweed Room, we have a cocktail table made of Claro Walnut on a custom steel base. Claro walnut (Juglans hindsii) or California Walnut, is generally found in the northern half of the state. The wood is highly figured with a rich brown color and striking grain patterns, especially in the crotch areas, where large limbs meet the trunk. It is used in small quantities to make fine furniture and gun stocks, and sold as slabs to make large natural-top tables because of its durability, good working properties and swirling, iridescent figure.
Our walnut was salvaged from an old farm in Lake County, California. Several walnut logs had been milled and stacked, and were found by new owners on the backside of a barn when they purchased an acreage property. Not knowing what to do with the wood themselves, they sold it to several woodworkers with the hopes it would be wisely used. This wood would have most likely been burned or taken to a dump if it was not given a second life as our table!
Colleen was kind enough to also loan the store a console table for the store (which is for sale); you’ll find it back near the lumberjacky Wolverine boots, Barbour coats, Moore & Giles leather goods, and Lost Coast Outfitters fly fishing gear.
The day the tables were being delivered, we had a member inquire about buying it. We couldn’t be more pleased with the tables. It’s likely we’ll find some places for more tables, potentially in the Wine Cave and on the future Roof Deck…
To commission a piece for your home or office, visit colleensmithdesigns.com.