McGregor - A Texas Cottonwood Table

From start to finish, this was one of my favorite builds. Gordon walked past an advertising install of mine, in a building in downtown Austin, everyday for quite a while before contacting me about building their new family dining table. It was through that install and a few months of following me on Instagram that helped convince him and his wife, Amanda, to have their table custom made by a local artisan. Gordon, being from Scotland and Amanda, from Australia, met here in Austin on a business trip about 15 years ago. Austin has been their home since then, and they wanted something local, something made here, something that helped them remember their life in Texas (not that they're planning to move). So, they contacted me to come out to the shop one day.

We had a great time! Iā€™d actually taken my birthday off work and gone out with Amanda and some friends for lunch. We came around to the workshop that afternoon and got to see some of the other tables and pieces. It got us very excited about what this table could be. It was an added bonus on my birthday to get to share a beer (with Elijah), while examining the various types of wood and discussing the options for table styles!
— Gordon

After that initial meeting, I headed out to my friend Bill's house to scout out a slab of locally sourced rescued wood. We went back and forth a little between a few species and then finally landed on the Cottonwood. Cottonwood isn't known for being a very popular species to build furniture out of, mostly because of the intense finishing process that cottonwood requires. But I wasn't going to let that scare me away. I had actually been looking for an excuse to make a table out of this material for some time, and its tones and grains and imperfections were just what this family was looking for. So, I brought their slabs to the shop and started the process. From the time I started surfacing these slabs, through the intense sanding and onto the final coat of finish, this was one of the most satisfying pieces of wood that I've worked with. And the clients couldn't have been happier.

We felt very involved from the very first visit to the workshop where we got to learn about the various types of wood and construction techniques right up until the day we took delivery of the table. I particularly enjoyed the teaser photos on Instagram leading up to the delivery. It added to the sense of anticipation! We knew we would have a beautiful table but it was really cool to not know exactly what it would look like right until the very end.
— Amanda
We had been talking about buying a new dining table. So we both became very intrigued by this idea of shopping locally for a table and being involved in the creative process. I also particularly liked the idea of using reclaimed local wood. For sustainability as well as creating a memento piece that will forever represent our time in Austin. Not that we have any current plans to leave.
— Amanda
I think we really got something made that matched, and exceeded our expectations. It was great to be able to describe the sorts of features we were looking for (live edge, types of wood) and be part of the discussion with you on how the final table would end up. The alternative is wandering around many different stores or websites, trying to find something that never lives up to what you want.
— Gordon
I really enjoyed meeting the actual person who was creating the table. I think that really added to the whole experience. Knowing the artist. Seeing the workshop. I liked the anticipation of waiting to see the final piece. I enjoyed discussing options together and being a part of the whole process start to finish. I feel like we collectively have created the perfect piece for our family.
— Amanda

See the rest of the gallery here.

"I think every meal we've eaten at home, since the table arrived, has been around that table. Its beautiful and quickly becoming the center of our home." -Gordon

Materials: Texas Cottonwood + Oak (bowtie keys) + Steel
Finish: Water Based Poly + Black Powder Coat

Elijah GodfreyComment