Long Bookmatched Walnut Dining Table

We love to build a big dining table. They’re inherently dramatic, and there’s something special about knowing that they’ll be the gathering place for friends and family on the nights that mean the most. This table measures out at eleven-and-a-half feet, and more than four feet wide. There aren’t a whole lot of dinner parties it can’t accommodate.

The first thing that most people notice about this table, aside from its sheer enormity, is that it’s a bookmatched piece. That is, the table comprises two separate slabs glued together down the centerline of the table. In a bookmatch, we take two “consecutive” slabs from a given felled tree, and flip one over — just as one turns the pages of a book — so that the two faces that were touching in the tree both face up.

Because the “up” sides were really only the width of a saw blade apart in the living tree, there is a symmetrical effect that customers, and we, always love. A bookmatched table is a great way to bring a sense of composure and intentionality to a live-edge tabletop. The interior designers we work with often decide on a bookmatch when they want to inject the feeling that a table has been considered, not merely chosen; this sort of table often serves as a way to sneak an additional piece of art in a room.

You might notice the black section at one end of the table, that splits off into a “V” shape as it moves towards the midsection. The black material there is actually a high-grade, two-part marine epoxy that we pour whenever we encounter voids in a slab.

In this case, the void exists where the tree branched off into two, well, branches. In some sense, perhaps, it’s a shame that we have to fill these gaps in the slab: who wouldn’t want to have perfect, continuous wood in the tabletop?

In fact, though, these irregularities are precisely what we love about natural materials. They’re real, and they’re unpredictable, and they insist that we work with them. One has to take what one’s given in this game; trying to dictate terms to Mother Nature is a fool’s errand. The truth is that the pressures and weights of this tree’s splitting give it the character and the beauty that we so love. Right at the crotch of this, and most trees of its sort, you’ll find the most stunning figure — patterns of grain and visual texture that grab and throw light in mesmerizing ways.

If you’re interested in a piece of furniture that appreciates and reflects the beauty of nature, fill in the “Contract” form below, email info@cannonhillwood.com, or call our workshop at 857-576-2089.