Vince Berkhout, "Serengeti" Hall Table (STUDENT 2022)

Name of school or tertiary institution, and name of woodworking teacher (if you have one):
Sturt School for Wood - David Upfill-Brown (2021)

My "Serengeti" Hall Table was made as part of the Sturt Drawer Project led by David Upfill-Brown. I wanted a piece that was a bit playful and whimsical but which reflected my philosophy on the importance of trees to the planet and the place that furniture-makers have in making the best of finite wood resources. I love the look of the acacia trees of the Serengeti with their flat canopy of foliage, and strong visual effect of their branches. The hall table is designed to reflect the form of the acacia tree. The three boxes (with drawers) are designed like bird nesting boxes, helping with pollination of the acacias. Each of the table legs has a different angle, and most are tapered. The bird nesting boxes are secured to the legs in different ways - one nestled into rebates in the legs, one attached to an upright leg, and one with the leg passing through the drawer front, creating a drawer pull - adding to its sense of surprise and whimsy. The table is made from an acacia - Tasmanian Blackwood (Acacia Melanoxylon). The bird nesting boxes are made from Tasmanian Oak. The drawer fronts are made with end grain Tas Oak, with hand-carved circular drawer pulls like bird nesting holes. I also carved some little birds to sit in the drawers. It makes me smile every time I look at the table, remembering the fun and challenges in its making.