June 4, 2007

Nakashima


I am an absolute sucker for a nice table.

Good, solid, unadorned and absolutely gorgeous.

Something that shows off a classic piece of wood that has been beautifully finished and placed upon a set of pegs that aren't all that fancy.

Sometimes they're known as refectory tables, but even some of those can be too fancy for my tastes, and others just aren't right - they don't show any beauty. They're well made and workmanlike, but there's nothing special to them.

There's a huge difference among a plain, boring refectory table, a table that's overly adorned, and one that's simple and plain but attractive.

And then there's the work of George Nakashima one of whose tables is shown at the top of this post - a gorgeous, simple, perfect reflection of a table. No pretense, no unnecessary adornment, just one wonderful piece of wood set atop legs that don't detract from the top. In the one up top, Nakashima has added three butterfly pieces to hold the top together, but the butterflies are so marvelously made that they don't detract from the beauty of the piece - rather they somewhow enhance the piece.

I first learned about Nakashima's work last week when the girl and I bumbled upon a PBS program called Craft in America that spent a segment focusing on Nakashima's amazing work with tables.

Since then I've hunted down some more Nakashima resources:The last of those resources begins to look more at Nakashima's more naturalistic work, attempting to do as little work as possible on the tree section to be used for the table top.

I'll leave you with one of the most attractive of the natralistic pieces...

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