A live edge dining table is the perfect accent for your country, shabby chic or naturalistic interior décor. Live edge tables use the natural edge of a woodcut as the edge of the table or they use the wood grain as a vital part of the table decoration. They are often made from the center cut of giant trees and might even retain the bark on the edges.
Using the natural swirls and shapes of the wood grain itself can also create amazing artistic results. For some tables, the designer can use a natural fault or fit two central tree slabs together, filling in the space with acrylic resin. This fill-in section can be turned into the representation of a river, especially if knots are also filled with acrylic to represent smaller bodies of water. The central resin streak can be other colors as well. A very beautiful live edge table from India has a dark resin center bonding the natural edges of two pieces of rosewood. The cut edges of the slabs are positioned to the outside of the table top, creating a milled outer edge.
George Nakashima was famed for his use of live edge wood and natural burls. Even though he was a natural citizen of the United State, he was interned in 1940. He met Gentaro Hikogawa in the internment camp and studied woodworking with him. In 1943, Antonin Raymond sponsored Nakashima’s release. After that, George Nakashima designed furniture for Knoll, including the straight-backed chair (a design still in use today) and 200 pieces for Nelson Rockefeller.
His most famous pieces were live edge tables called “altars for peace.” Nakashima hoped that by installing an altar for peace in every nation of the world the world would become a better place.
Mira Nakashima has continued her father’s legacy. The Nakashima company continues to produce beautiful furniture and to create altars of peace. Perhaps your live edge dining table can become your family’s altar of peace. Certainly, dining tables are often the center of family activity where everything from family meals to homework are accomplished.