For some context, my original aesthetic idea was a gothic revival end table, trying to incorporate the peaks, arches , and quatrefoils. One alternate aesthetic I am considering switching too would be a “burnt wood” end table. I’ve grown up in Superior and therefore was affected by the Marshall fire two years ago, My idea is to find fallen branches from trees in parks and open spaces around my house, and use them as legs for an end table. I would then add a postmodern twist to the project by charring it, giving a message about climate change and the impacts it has on our everyday lives. I originally got that idea from Jace Aschbrenner’s Shou Sugi Ban chess board. I would definitely check out his posts to see how cool his final design turned out! Shou Sugi Ban is a Japanese technique of preserving wood by burning it. You char the wood till it crisps, then brush away the ash and finish it like normal. I think the aesthetic it provides is very cool, and relevant to my project concepts.

Heres a cool video I found by Love of the Grain Workshop if you’d like to see a step by step of Shou Sugi Ban:

For this project I think it would be super cool to source a large cross section of a tree for a tabletop, I’m not sure if thats possible but as a backup I know hardware stores such as Home Depot have a selection of round cute of wood.

Here is an [1] an example of a Shou Sugi Ban tabletop, and some rough sketches of what my table would look like. I’m not quite sure what aesthetic it would fall under, perhaps an art nouveau because of the natural curves and shapes, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments of what aesthetic you think fits. 

Another alternate aesthetic I had in mind was Steampunk. For a steampunk table I would have heavily incorporate exposed pipes, gears, and other mechanical elements into the table. this aesthetic would work well with the dynamic component, as I wouldn’t have to cover any mechanisms within the design. Clearly this design needs some more fleshing out, but I think it could work quite well! If I got crazy maybe I could even pull off a Shou Sugi Ban – Steampunk combo aesthetic!

Here are some sketches of a Steampunk table with a wooden top and metal bottom. For the dynamic element I am imagining an exposed rack and pinion style drawer mechanism.

Image credits:

[1] The Sequoia Cloud Table from birdloft



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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Hey Brandon, your idea demonstrates a creative exploration of alternate aesthetics for their project, showcasing a willingness to adapt and experiment with different design concepts. The incorporation of personal experiences, such as the Marshall fire, adds depth and meaning to the project ideas. Could you elaborate more on how you plan to integrate the message about climate change into the burnt wood end table aesthetic? Providing more detail on how this aspect will be conveyed through the design could enhance the reader’s understanding of the project’s narrative and purpose.

  • Chris Wachuta
    March 8, 2024 2:53 pm

    I like the way you are incorporating your growing up into your project. The two alternative ideas sound interesting. I am having a hard time understanding your sketch of Shou Sugi Ban tabletop, is it flat?


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