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What goes into sourcing timber for the finest waney edge slabs?

sawmill trip timber selection

Sourcing Timber: The Art Of The Hunt

Sourcing exquisite timber is paramount in creating our signature waney-edge dining tables. Our commitment to quality and craftsmanship drives us to go the extra mile in finding the perfect wood for each unique piece – and the extra mile often leads us to continental Europe. In this blog post, we invite you to explore our world and understand how we source and transform rough diamonds into works of art.

We invest time researching, visiting remote mills, and establishing connections with trusted suppliers. Timber, like any other crop, is cultivated for maximum bulk and uniformity so that the modern commercial sawmills can mill in the most efficient fashion. However, commercial forestry goals don’t always align with our artisanal needs as so many details are removed in the pursuit of speed (and profit). Throughout the life cycle of trees, they are managed to prioritise many criteria such as growth rate, straightness, and minimal branching etc. Unique characteristics such as movement, excessive branching, or slower growth are often seen as defects and removed. However, we value and celebrate these unique characteristics in our live-edge tables, so it’s so important to source by eye for every single piece we craft.

Our job is to uncover hidden gems with unconventional beauty. With over a decade of experience, we appreciate that our creative journey begins with selecting raw materials. When we unveil these raw boards to our clients, their initial reaction is often a gasp of disbelief, struggling to comprehend how we transform rough pieces of wood into exquisite tables. While our chapter begins at the sawmill, it’s essential to recognise the incredible individuals whose chapter ends here – the family run sawmills and the forestry team before them.

Each mill visit always leaves us with immense admiration for their skills and deep respect for the timber that binds us together. By establishing strong relationships with these mills, we have direct access to their kiln-dried stock, handpicking only the finest boards for our bespoke tables. This ensures exceptional quality and craftsmanship in each piece we create.

Leveraging our expertise in identifying standout boards, we skillfully highlight their unique characteristics, allowing clients to witness the remarkable beauty that lies beneath the surface. Transparency is woven into every step of our process. We engage our customers in every aspect, from sharing stories about timber origins to involving them in the design process, fostering a deep connection between clients and the natural materials we work with.

As we source timber for our furniture, we embrace the understanding that no two pieces will ever be identical, yet each holds its own distinct beauty. Selecting and procuring wood allows us to discover hidden treasures within. Each log tells a story, and it is our role as artisans to bring that story to life in a tangible and meaningful way.

Once kiln dried, our skilled craftsmen shape and craft the table with precision, considering the unique features and contours of the wood. Attention to detail is paramount, from the smoothness of the table’s surface to the perfect alignment of the live edges. Our craftsmen bring their expertise and passion to exceed our clients’ expectations. Throughout the creation process, we pay close attention to every detail, setting us apart and allowing us to create exceptional pieces. A protective finish enhances the wood’s natural beauty and ensures long-lasting durability. This step adds a lustrous sheen and safeguards the table against everyday wear and tear, ensuring enjoyment for generations to come.

In conclusion, sourcing timber is a labour of love and a critical part of our creative process. We journey across Europe in search of hidden treasures with the unique character and beauty we value. By prioritising craftsmanship, attention to detail, and establishing close relationships with trusted suppliers, we create remarkable works of art.

Why Buy a Bespoke, Live Edge Dining Table?

live edge dining table

For those who appreciate the finer things in life, a bespoke live edge dining table is a stunning addition to your home. At L’Atelier Mata, we specialize in crafting one-of-a-kind pieces that exude luxury and sophistication. In this blog, we will showcase the numerous merits of owning a bespoke live edge dining table. We will also see why it is the perfect choice for your home. Here are a the key points:

1. Creative Spirit

Every live edge dining tables is a work of art, showcasing the grain, texture, and beauty of the hardwoods. With a bespoke design, you can ensure that your dining table is a reflection of your own taste and style. Whether you prefer a contemporary or rustic aesthetic, our live edge tables will make a statement in your dining room.

2. Natural Beauty

Our design process aims to highlight the natural beauty of the wood, bringing the essence of the outdoors into your home. From the knots and grains to the imperfections, each piece is a celebration of nature’s artistry. The organic quality of the wood creates an ambiance of warmth and elegance in your dining room, making it the ideal setting for intimate gatherings or grand entertaining.

3. Built to Endure

Crafted from premium hardwoods such as maple, oak, and walnut, our live edge dining tables are renowned for their durability and resistance to wear and tear. This makes them a valuable investment for your home, providing years of enjoyment and use. Whether you have young children or regularly entertain guests, these dining tables are built to stand the test of time.

4. Functionality + Opulence

At L’Atelier Mata, we believe in creating furniture that combines functionality with opulence. Our bespoke pieces offer both, with their natural curves providing a comfortable and ergonomic seating experience, and the ability to tailor the size and shape to your requirements. Whether you need a table to seat 6 or 14, our live edge dining tables are the perfect choice for the discerning entertainer.

5. An Eco-Conscious Choice

In addition to their exceptional design and quality, our live edge dining tables are also an eco-conscious choice. Made from sustainably sourced wood, they reduce the carbon footprint associated with production and transportation. Furthermore, we use only the finest eco-friendly finishing products, further reducing our impact on the environment. By working with us on your dining table project, you can indulge in luxury while also making a positive impact on the planet.

At L’Atelier Mata, our heart and soul is invested in making furniture that is sustainable, luxurious and sophisticated. This style of furniture is here to stay and we hope this blog has highlighted a few of the reasons why. Feel free to browse our collection and drop us a line if you have any questions.

What reclaimed wood do we use in our furniture?

Rustic reclaimed wood dining table with metal legs. Sustainable dining table made from reclaimed wood

Reclaimed wood has hit the big time in the furniture world, and for good reason. As Ikea continues to take the world by storm, a certain section of the market is reacting by demanding more character, more individuality in their furniture, which reclaimed is guaranteed to provide. But what does it all mean? How do you know you’re still getting a quality piece of wood?

reclaimed cargo train boards

What is reclaimed wood?

‘Reclaimed’ simply means that the wood has been repurposed or salvaged from another use. Typically this includes floorboards, old beams, barn cladding, railway sleepers, or pallets.

In our case, we stumbled right on a pile of wood just crying out to be rescued, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. We’d been contacted by a bunch of architectural salvage guys, who had stripped the flooring from a group of decommissioned boxcar freight trains and were hunting for a buyer. We, quite gladly, snapped it up.

Boxcar Timber

Boxcar trains became popular in the early 1900s (you’ll recognise them from Western movies – or the opening sequence of Toy Story 3, if you’re a little younger!), when the iconic design became instrumental in shipping all kinds of large items up and down the American railroads. The wildly everchanging weather across the state lines meant that the previous flatbed style of transportation swiftly needed to grow a few more walls to keep everything safely protected! Enter: The Box Car.

To us, the floorboards taken from these trains are simply majestic. Each board is at least 50mm thick, with rich scarring, indentations and bolt holes that secured the flooring to the chassis. When raw and untouched, you’d never know the beauty underneath; they’re so utterly covered in a thick layer of grime, but a quick sand will reveal all of their secrets.

reclaimed tabletop on chrome legs

Quality Still Matters

In the boom of reclaimed, it’s important to consider the quality of the wood – just as you would with anything new. Unlike railway sleepers, or some external timber cladding that you often see used for reclaimed furniture – boxcar wood is as dry as any other furniture grade timber. This means that there’s less risk of the wood twisting and cracking over time once it’s in your home – so it’ll last as long as you want it to.

Discover the Character

The second thing that we like to keep in mind is the character ingrained in the wood. Not all reclaimed timber is created equal – and although old oak beams may be aged by time, they’re a little lacking in their ability to tell a good story. We fell in love with Boxcar wood because it’s been through decades of hard work – and it shows it. It’s as if it’s speaking a language that you’re desperate to understand, and yet unable to translate – which we believe is a non-negotiable feature for reclaimed wood.

reclaimed tabletop

For all of our Boxcar tables, just take a browse around our shop – there are finished pieces to check out, or simply get in touch to ask for a bespoke quotation.

If you have any questions at all, take a look at our FAQS, or feel free to contact us.