Monday, 26 September 2011

Finished Tea Table

Behold: the finished and also completed table.

Following beta testing, I found that making tea using a surface elevated to exactly slightly over a foot above the ground wasn't as bad as I'd thought it would be. As it turns out, it's actually quite comfortable, and should I ever feel the need to occupy a slightly more lofty perspective over my teaware, I'll use a cushion.

The finishing process for this table was pretty basic: some sanding to smooth surfaces and round corners, one coat of stain (I like the relatively light and dark areas this gives me), and varying amounts of varnish. My primary concerns in building this table were practical, and for that reason there are three coats of satin-finish varnish on the table's most utilitarian surface to protect it from spills without making it look glossy. In contrast, the wax finish on my floor dissolves every time a droplet of water touches it, and as a result much of my floor has an interesting grey-speckled pattern thanks to a previous hobby involving misting a lot of plants.

Some of the rougher sanding has left criss-cross patterns in the stain on the table's surface, an effect I personally enjoy. This is a table I anticipate keeping for quite some time, and I look forward to the accumulation of dings, scratches, and other inevitable detrital markers left by the passing of time and tea over its surface. Much in the same way as I cultivate a patina rich in stains and drip lines on my teapots with simple and loving use, I look forward to the appearance of wear on this table in all its wabi-sabi forms simply as a result of, and as a reference to, its use.


  1. Beautiful table! Great work of craftsmanship and discipline.

  2. Nice table !
    You sit down directly on the floor ? on a cushion ?
    Beautiful teaware too. I also have a set by Petr Novak, for my sencha. I like wabi-sabi style...


  3. Thanks for the nice comments! Currently I'm justing sitting cross-legged on the floor, but my plan is to incorporate either a cushion or perhaps a mat of some sort as soon as I can get my hands on something suitable.
    What I really like about Petr's wares is that he doesn't sacrifice a high degree of usability to achieve this rustic aesthetic; the walls on this particular cup are still fairly thin and thanks to the glazed rim, your lips need never touch the rough clay surface.


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