this table is a piece of American history
1,000 year old sinker cypress
civil war bullet
hand-cut blue glass
THE STORY BEHIND THE TABLE:
This table has a story to tell. Picture this…two guys diving off a small pontoon boat into murky alligator-infested waters near Charleston, South Carolina, hunting for treasure. Not for ordinary treasure, but for sunken logs. When they find one, they dive down and tie a cable onto the log and wrestle it out of the water. You may think our story begins here, but it actually starts much farther back. The wood I chose for the tabletop came from a Cypress tree - more specifically a “sinker cypress”. Cypress logs grow in rivers and when they are harvested they float and are pushed down river to the sawmill, but some of them, like this one, had a bacterial infection that caused them to hold more water, making them sink. This cypress was cut down 100-200 years ago, with axe marks on the butt of the log providing evidence it was felled by hand. Not only that, but this was a 1,000 year old virgin tree, making this by far the oldest wood I’ve ever worked with. I found a clue while working on this table that leads me to think this tree may have come down shortly after an American Civil War battle in Charleston c.1865. What clue? A lead bullet lodged the in the underside of the top! Don’t worry...I left it in place, right there underneath the table, to help preserve its history. This table has a fabulous story, but what I like most is the full-circle symbolism. The tree once proudly stood growing in a river. It died and was forgotten, but now it’s been recovered and carefully brought back to life, proudly connected to a river once again. This is a remarkable piece of history - functional art with a story to tell.