What the Sahara and the Pacific Have in Common
by Soo Joo
Does a table top have to be flat? What the Sahara and the Pacific Have in Common challenges the notion that tops of tables and desks have to be flat. The piece also expresses a fascination with wood grain. The most unique, prominent and charming characteristic of wood is its grain; Every tree has its own grain, which directly reflects and documents the life of that tree.
The sculptural 'un-flatness' of the table top is the focus of this piece, as well as the lively and memorable wood grain.
With my background in sculpture and ceramics, I formed a full-scale model in plasticine, through inspiration from photography of the Sahara Desert by Kiho Suh on Behance, as well as images of rolling grassy hills and the Pacific Ocean. The sculpting reveals the un-linear and poetic grain, which simultaneously highlights the undulating form. The top, which is elevated from it's legs and supporting structure in a method inspired by japanese woodworking, creates an illusion of a weightlessness or floating.
What the Sahara and the Pacific Have in Common was made in Providence, Rhode Island, and is finished with five coats of natural tung oil. It is my first table, as well as one of my first interactions with lumber. It was fascinating to see the kind of interaction and functionality that a table with a subtly undulating surface has - things placed on top do not roll off! It is so nice to touch- as my Professor from RISD, Dale Brohom says, wood is such an undeniably sensual material, and this piece adequately possesses that power of sensuality that is unique to wood.
AutoCad drawing : units in inches