I have designed and am now building a conference table for a new library and collection at the University of Texas called the Stark Center. Creation of the Stark Center is primarily being funded by the Stark Foundation in Orange, Texas, which was originally established by the Stark family. The Stark family made its fortune logging longleaf pine along the Sabine River (which establishes the border between Texas and Louisiana) more than a hundred years ago. So, it was decided that this table should be made out of longleaf pine.
There are no more commercial stands left of this timber, but it is today being reclaimed out of old buildings, mills, and warehouses where it was once used for beams and framing lumber. However, I did happen upon a small supplier who had recently acquired a pine log that had been pulled up from the bottom of the Sabine River and milled into lumber. There were no brands or marks on the log, so we can never know, but perhaps we can speculate, that this tree was one that was actually felled by the Stark family decades ago. Anyway, I am constructing a good part of my table from this sinker log which helps to add a story and a little extra meaning to the project for my clients.
The Stark Foundation has also provided me with some curly pine (also known as Rosemary’s pine) in the form of ship-lap boards taken out of one of the old Stark family homes in Orange. I am using the curly pine to make raised panels in the table’s pedestals and also for an oval inlay in the top (still to come).
Here you can see one of the pedestals with its two curly pine panels. You can also see the lower stretcher or trestle that joins the pedestals together. The end of the trestle pierces the pedestal and is locked in place with a wedge. Click to enlarge this image. To see more of my work, visit My Furniture Gallery.