Main Project Aesthetic – River Table

The recent craze of the river table has come about in the last 10-20 years.  This is especially dependent on polymer technology getting us to where we are today. The aesthetic of a river table is includes the natural/live edge aspect of wood/lumber, and combines it with a clean, glasslike finish of the epoxy.  It is a mix between what nature has to offer combined with what man has to offer.  I have always been very attracted to this idea.  Within this aesthetic, you can create whatever type of aesthetic you want.  This can depend on the wood you choose, color of epoxy, what types of things you want to include in the creation, and the overall finish.  Many people make their own aesthetic out of this idea by placing objects inside the epoxy.  They create a theme or aesthetic with objects such as sand, flowers, rocks, or even action figures.  The final result has endless combinations.  Id say the river table aesthetic is an aesthetic of its own that can also be changed in order to create any type of aesthetic you might want for a table.  For example some people will place batman figurines and details throughout the table to make it a batman aesthetic.  Others have placed flowers or rocks in the epoxy to have it follow a more traditional aesthetic of looking like a river flowing through the wood.

I want to create an ocean aesthetic with my river table. This means that I want a piece of wood that is dark in the center and lighter towards the outside in order to resemble sand.  Then I want to color the epoxy a turquoise color with some metal pigmants in order to represent what ocean waters look like on top of white sands in places such as Cancun.  I will achieve this by tinting the epoxy blue while making sure to leave it translucent.

Another aesthetic that appealed to me was to try to make it look like a river by including rocks and other things that you might find at the bottom of a river bed.  I could also add things encased in the epoxy on the sides of the rivers such as plants or small bushes.  I thought about this idea a lot, but decided to do the ocean aesthetic because I just like the way it has looked in other people’s projects.

There is also one other aesthetic I entertained which was to engrave topological maps on the wood in order to represent some sort of land mass’s topology, similar to the way maps do it with lines and different colors.  I decided against this becuase I did not have access to a CNC machine that could do this at the scale that I wanted.

Below are some sketches I have drawn up.  These include adjustable aluminum legs as well as general overall shape that I want based on scope and costs.  I have also included a picture of the piece of wood I have bought for this project.


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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Zach Aldrich
    March 2, 2020 7:23 pm

    This project sounds awesome, I have seen many of these river tables on facebook and I have to say they look amazing. They have this very nature-like aesthetic that is visually pleasing. What kind of epoxy do you plan on using, and will cost be a constraint?

    • Hi Zach, I am going to use a deep pour curing resin epoxy specifically used for deep pours of up to 2 in thick. And yes, the epoxy is the most expensive component, so it is definitely a hard constraint.

  • Nathaniel Wang
    March 1, 2020 8:36 pm

    I love the project, and I hope it turns out as cool as it sounds. Have you looked at where to acquire the epoxy? I would definitely suggest testing a sample of the epoxy to make sure the set color is the oceanic color and opaqueness that you are looking for.

    • Hi Nathaniel, I have purchased it already. At first I didn’t think about testing it, but after much research it is something I definitely need to do otherwise I could screw up the whole thing. I plan to test it by making a couple different small cubes with different combinations of translucent dye and mica powders. I might even try to float some stuff in it, just in case it turns out cool. That way I can polish it and keep it as another piece of artwork.


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