Here At Last: Photos of the Incredible Balinese-Blessing Dining Table

Table square on

Yes, thanks to the wonderful photography of Tom Way, who even helped me carry the table up the impossibly steep and rickety staircase to his studio, you can finally see the dining table I started more than a year ago.
Here’s the story. When I moved into my rather anonymous little townhouse, I promised myself I’d populate it with good wood. And almost the first thing I did was to buy four planks of wonderful curly Vermont maple from Ernest Krusch up in Cambridge (Vermont, that is, not Massachusetts or England). Dave Wilson at Sterling Hardwoods milled and glued them, creating the tabletop, and I composed a short blessing, to wit:

Bless this food

Bless these people

Bless this table

That brought them together.

Thanks to the good offices of Alyssa Stern of Basabali, this text was sent to a priest in Bali, one of the last people on the island who can still write in the beautifully rhythmic and avian traditional Balinese script.

It took nine months for the text to make its way back. It took another month or six weeks to carve and paint the blessing into the tabletop. Finally, Nate Moreau made the legs and skirt in the maple-and-walnut combination that is becoming the trademark of the Endangered Alphabets furniture. It was entirely his idea to use a live edge–that is, the wiggly edge with the bark–on the skirt, and it looks perfect.

It’s true, we’re hoping people may order tables like this, perhaps with their own choice of text, to support the Alphabets Project. For now, though, I still can’t get over how well it came out.

The blessing
The blessing

 

Look at that live edge on the table skirt.
Look at that live edge on the table skirt.
Nice grain in maple and walnut.
Nice grain in maple and walnut.

4 Responses

  1. Magdalena
    | Reply

    ¡Qué hermosura!

  2. Bill Oakley
    | Reply

    I really like the simplicity of the design and the live edge apron is a great idea. What is the finish on the table?

    • Tim
      | Reply

      Thanks! It’s a satin water-based polyurethane by Rust-oleum. Goes on milky but finishes clear. I was skeptical, but it has worked incredibly well for me. You might want to give it a try. Best of luck to you in your own work.
      Cheers,
      Tim

  3. shaina simon
    | Reply

    This is truly a beautifully simple design! And I love the idea of the foreign writing. The inscription written is also very moving.

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