There's something hypnotic about watching Blackcreek Mercantile & Trading Co. shape its Floating Block Table on a lathe. Okay, a few things. First, there's its sheer size: Ranging from 30 to 48 inches in diameter, simply seeing it hoisted onto the machine is a Flintstonian feat. Second, there's the flurry of wooden curls and chips, spraying through the air as it's rounded out. And third, there's the trance-inducing motion itself, made all the more bewitching by the checkerboard pattern on the table.
It's a spectacle in and of itself—one that most people never get to see. Until now. Blackcreek Mercantile & Trading Co. (BCMT Co.), the Kingston, NY-based company behind the modern-meets-rustic table, allowed Natipernavigare behind the scenes, revealing what goes into the weeklong process of making each piece.
Instead of using a flat piece of wood for the tabletop, the BCMT Co. team glues planks together, cross-cutting them and then regluing the planks, creating the sort of checkerboard pattern you're used to seeing in butcher block. Like butcher block, the wood is in the end grain position, meaning that the end of the wood fibers are exposed. The wood tends to be more scratch-resistant that way, and is often called "self-healing" because the fibers are so densely packed together that they'll push back together, making nicks less visible.
"It took us a while to scale it up and learn the process, moving from tabletop butcher block to a gigantic table," BCMT Co. owner Josh Vogel explains.
Blackcreek first designed the table at the request of designer and Field + Supply founder Brad Ford. The end result, though, evolved organically as Josh and his team started working with white oak. "I think a long time ago, I started the business with the concept that if I'm going to be the designer of something, I want to also be able to create it," he says. "I want my knowledge of the material to inform how I design, and the character of my work." Mission accomplished.
You can order the Floating Block Table through Blackcreekmt.com.
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