Monday

We Needed A Table



Bits and pieces.....
nuts and bolts......
odds and ends.....

steel destined for the scrap heap...

till we scrounged it....

drilled... welded...
cut with a torch...
irregular... nothing perfect...

legs three... triangular...

it started taking shape...

raw and rough.... very heavy...
rust encouraged... oiled occasionally
somewhat polished with patina remaining...



Eventually it turned into a piece of amusing functional sculpture

We call it... The Bird's Foot Table.


and it delights us...

....as a matter of fact... it has almost become a member of the family...


























































This is one of three steel tables we created years ago, to take with us when we attend Art/Craft shows.. the rest of the time it hangs around the house...

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33 comments:

Arija said...

Gwen , it is such fun creating something totally original and, like writing a novel that only lets the writer slowly into the plot, takes over and goes its own way. Small wonder it has become part of the family as it has grown in amongst you.
A truly lovely piece.

Morna said...

Gwen & John - what a wonderful table! I love it! Although, I must say, that first photo of the "bird foot" has a faintly cannabis sativa look to it. You know how I like to re-interpret photos of your artwork. And, speaking of artwork, the watercolor bird head is too beautiful for words. Really - it melts me. :)

Sandy said...

That is such a UNIQUE table. Loving birds like I do, this is a big HIT with me ...wow.

Great job.

Seth Apter said...

Spectacular. I can see why this has become part of the family. the details are really incredible.

Sharon said...

That must weigh a ton!
I absolutely love it, it's gorgeous!

Jo Horswill said...

Gwen...I super love this table and post!!!
It took me back many years to when Warren built a stone forge in our yard ,with a makeshift cover over it. There was nothing better than on a freezing cold day, wielding hammer and tong around our raging forge...smoking cigars, drinking beer and creating wrought iron "stuff" together...Oh those were the days!!! and gone are those days of puffing on cigars!!!

Danielle Barlow said...

What a wonderful table Gwen! And your crow watercolour is just gorgeous ( I know, I'm a sucker for crows!)

Jacky said...

Amazing table Gwen, love the rustic quality...very special and no wonder it has become part of the family. So individual!

BLACK AND WHITE said...

Gwen, love the table! So original! Beautiful artwork and beautiful living!

Ruth said...

Who would think metal could be so organic. And the way the red drape hangs in the hollow is precious. And you know I love the cement floor, oh I want that somewhere.

Your photos of the table, and all the perspectives, reveal the character of the table, and of you the artist. I can't pick a favorite, but I do love the one with guitar.

Guillaume said...

I love it. Love the fact that it is both a practical object and an aesthetic one (I think I said that before for other things). The furniture here is much more boring, I wish I had lots of money and I could just buy you that one (and your portrait of Anthony Burgess). I could write on that one and inspiration would come easily.

pRiyA said...

hmmm...i think i just fell in love with your blog.

Anet said...

Gwen,
This is prefect for your home.
I love the three different legs, very fun! It looks like it will last for generations to come.

Cuidado said...

Hi Gwen. Someone from the past...
I found you through Ruth's blog as she was chosen blog of note. I was your neighbour at your first wholesale show in Halifax. I had stained glass and later, earrings. We (and Brian Adams) always went to dinner. I don't use my real name anywhere here but in the blogging world am known as Cuidado or Mary MacADNski.

Glad to have found you, as I love your blog. You were in Norton when I last saw you. St. Martins is a fabulous spot and it seems as though you've made a wonderful life and family.

shicat said...

Hi Gwen, Goregeous, Love the photos and how you strung us along. The table seems to blend well with your awesome antique finds. Also,love the patina on the floor. Is that cement,tile...?

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thank you, Arija, you are gifted with such a creative soul and tons of hands on experience... you must have so many writings..have you put them together in a book or many books??

Now Morna, cannabis eh? now how did you come to recognize that??? and don't tell me you saw it in a book...

Sandy, glad you liked the bird connection... funny how things evolve once you get going ..

Thanks Seth... It satisfies that urge of.. "now what can I make out of this"... which grabs most of us doesn't it?

Thanks Sharon, it is... heavy that is!.. I can barely drag it.. course John likes to throw it over his head and carry it on his shoulder.. show off!!

Oooo Jo, You guys built a Forge... Wow!! feels great to know that you were hammering away and sweating and playing too. small world... what fun!!... Hope you didn't give up good cold beer!!!

Thanks Danielle, I love those big black birds.. Your illustrations are amazing...
Have you illustrated books?

Jacky, I like a half finished kind of look... nothing too fancy...

Thank you Black and White.. Art makes life worth living don't you think?

Ruth, you have such a way with words.. I wish I had that gift... Concrete is a truly durable surface... really hard wearing... especially good to have when there are 4 dogs running around the place... the dog-hair tumbleweeds easily blow around on it too!! and there is usually lots of them...

Guillaume, Thank you.. Feel free to print off my tormented Anthony Burgess sketch... I know you are big fan of his...

pRiyA, You are too kind indeed.. please come again!

Anet, That is a nice thought.. Hope it does too.. Thanks.

Cuidado, What a memory you have.. That was years ago huh? How did you ever remember me? What vitamins are you eating??? I need some!!
Thanks for getting in touch... Our friend Brian has moved to St. Andrews and opened a shop where he sells his paintings and prints.. He loves it there...

Hi Cathy, Yes the floor is concrete.. It is our slab on grade, John gridded it off in 3 ft. squares with a saw... then we acid-etched it with various earth tones... this area we used spray bottles and sometimes poured it around to make a subtle patterns, layering too.. but the colors show up in a different way than they will when finished .. sort of like clay glazes look different before they are fired... the varnishing brings out the color... very easy to take care of too...

Don said...

You have surprises at every turn. You must have moments when you see something and wonder what the?.. where has that been?

I agree with everyone, I love the table.

I need to learn something about metal-working

herhimnbryn said...

I never thought it possible but.......I now have 'table envy'.

Ruth said...

So fun about Cuidado!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Oh, All the time Don!!! Thank you.. But if I had to start writing down all the things I need to learn... I'd have to start another blog to hold it all!!

herhimnbryn, I am crazy about tables... at yard sales and second hand shops, no matter the condition... seeing the details on legs, that really gets me... the ornateness that craftsmen used to put into such functional objects always is so pleasing.

Ruth, yes, What a surprise.. and just because she found you first!!! the world goes round... and we never know what is round the corner, do we...

flyinamber said...

wow! it's so original! like it very much! I would love to have something like this in my home..
and you have Leonard's "In My Secret Life" on your playlist! this is one of my favouritest songs ever!

Debbi said...

Love the table. Is it very heavy?
I also love your playlist. WE have very similar taste in music. Stay warm!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thanks Dada, That is a true compliment when a fellow artist could live with a piece that another makes...
glad you love Leonard Cohen, too... He's been one of my favourites since I can remember... love what he says and his rhythm..


Thanks Debi, yes, it's too heavy for me.. if a real bird was this heavy it would be extinct for sure!!
I like that we enjoy similiar music.. Makes a special connection doesn't it?

Robyn said...

That bird foot looks as if it came straight out of an Oleg Denisenko etching, Love the table.....a lot!

rauf said...

Does the table bite ?
Gwen, i don't like tables following me.
when i say Hey table .. sit
it should sit.
what if it goes on strike and refuses to stand up ?
The table can blackmail me.
Lissen to me mistah ! if you don't clean me up i am going to tilt and you are going to lose your computer.
i am tilting....... i am tilting

i want keys that scream and tell me ' i am here, i am here ' oh you are leaving me behind ?

This will walk in to my dream Gwen.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Robyn... I am honoured that our work reminded you of Denisenko... and glad you pointed me in his direction... His work could surely inspire anyone who makes art from found objects.. he's delightful, medieval, and rather dark.. just what I like!!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi Rauf.. You make me smile.. No the table doesn't bite, but it does smoke!!

well it got us into trouble once, when we were at a craft show a few years ago...
we had just oiled the table and put the oily cloth behind the back curtain in a box (don't ever do that)..it was during the set up before the show started... then we left and went for lunch....

what do you think happened?.. yep. you're right!! just our luck!!! it spontaneously combusted... the cloth, that is...

well, It never burst instantly into flames... but began smoldering and smoking ... luckily some neighboring craftspeople took care of it after the fire alarms went off... and this was the big Trade and Convention Centre of the City... did we feel stupid... it's a wonder they never kicked us out and tell us never to return...

I never oil anything at a show now.. just let the rust show through.. safer that way...

So you see Rauf, this is a naughty table.. has a mind of it's own.. tries to play tricks on us.. how did you know?

next time I turn around it may sign itself onto a flight to India and sneak up on you!!

You'll be able to recognize it... just look at its' foot...

Femin Susan said...

Wow, you have a great poetic heart! Keep it coming! Good job!

rivergardenstudio said...

What an amazingly unique and beautiful table. Like an piece of your jewelry creations... Roxanne

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thanks Femin Susan, and Roxanne,
... odds and ends of words and steel.. they were both fun to create... glad you came over...

AscenderRisesAbove said...

what a fun table! and how nice is that stove in your side bar --->

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thanks ARA.

Shelley said...

I so love this post! The creativity!