Birch, Steel

Table#1 – Diameter 90 x H32cm (Diameter 35 x H13in)

30 + 2 Artist Proof + 2 Prototype

‘Table#1’ or ‘The Log Table’ and ‘Table#2’ or ‘The Small Log Table’ as they become known, were originally conceived in 2001. The idea was to challenge perceptions of what furniture design could be, by using seemingly archaic methods of construction. Raw silver birch logs, complete with their bark, are lashed together using an industrial blued steel strap normally used for binding shipping pallets. The top surface of the so formed table is painstakingly sanded to an immaculate finish, the meticulous presentation elegantly contrasting with the raw construction. The first few tables were made by Patrik Fredrikson and Ian Stallard between 2002 & 2004. The trees to be used were handpicked by the designers from forests in Kent, England. Each selected tree had a red ribbon tied around it to mark them and avoid damaging the bark. Subsequently in 2009 a new edition of 30 tables was produced by David Gill Galleries using birch trees selected from northern Sweden. In 2010 Table#1 was voted one of the ten most important designs of the last decade by The Financial Times, and also in the top three most collectible designs by HSBC Private Bank. Table#1 has been feature in numerous books, including ‘The Furniture Machine’ by Gareth Williams, ‘Twenty-First Century Design’ by Marcus Fairs, ‘Design Contre Design’, and was also included in the exhibition ‘Telling Tales’ at the V&A in 2009. In 2011 Table#1 was acquired by the Victoria and Albert museum as part of their permanent collection. ‘The intent is earnest (Fredrikson Stallard want us to regard the table as merely a bundle of logs), yet doubts its own earnestness (it is clearly more than just raw timber). The table is an example of self-conscious inauthenticity, used to critique something beyond itself, in this case, our sophisticated expectation of pastoral simplicity.’ Gareth Williams, senior lecturer at the Royal College of Art, London.