Bruce Koster's avatar Bruce Koster

A few years ago, I acquired four magnificent walnut boards all cut from the same tree. I was not sure exactly how or what they would become. For awhile they were stored against a wall in our Eastown vintage store. We soon discovered that the boards seemed to beacon to people. All day long people were drawn to them and many felt compelled to touch them and the touch was often more like a caress. Among ourselves we came to affectionately refer to those customers as "board rubbers". Many made repeat trips to the boards on the same visit. Some returned to the store to visit them again.The boards spoke universally to a wide spectrum of individual personalities and lifestyles. The tour was often accompanied by a reminiscence of a great tree that had stood in a yard or on a farm that was remembered with fondness and love. The wood connected those people with their deep feelings and connected me with them. Over time, the boards formed into a table in my mind and I set out to create something that paid honor to the wood and the bond that people have with trees. This table was created by combining those four beautiful solid walnut boards with a special base. The wood was debarked by hand which is a long process and allowed me to get to know the wood even more as I figured out what direction it wanted to go. I followed the live edge as much as possible. Countless hours of sanding followed by a hand-rubbed Danish oil stain were next. The wood was then sealed with a low sheen protective sealer to bring out the grain. Care was taken to make sure that the wood retained its natural character and beauty and shape. The base of the table and benches were designed in the shape of roots to give the illusion that the table has grown up out of the ground. The legs are made from 1/4″ plate steel. A unique leveling system was created to allow the metal and the wood the flexibility to change and settle with time and age. It is notable that these boards were my "connection" to hundreds of people before they were crafted into a table and bench. Now that it is finished the boards will provide new opportunities for engagement. I invite you to gather at the table and commune with each other. By touching and experiencing the wood I hope you may reconnect with that part of yourself that calls out for nature and the nostalgia of places where you have been in the presence of magnificent trees. Dimensions: Both the table and benches are 8′ long. The table dimensions are: 37 1/2ʺW × 96.0ʺD × 30.0ʺH

Entry Details
  • Art form: 3-D
  • Depth: 96 inches
  • Medium: Wood & Metal
  • Width: 37.5 inches
  • Year created: 2016
  • Height: 30 inches