The Box Elder Tale


The best part about making things is that there are great stories. This box elder side table was crafted for one of My Dad’s clients. She met him at an American Craft Council Show and noticed he had pieces from box elder wood (the red veins are it’s distinctive feature).  She chatted with him for a bit and mentioned that she had a box elder tree in her yard that needed to be removed; she would give Dad the wood for free if he agreed to make her a side table. And the adventure begins…

My husband and our nephew Connor traveled with Dad to her house, spent the afternoon cutting down the very large tree, then hauled the wood back home. Dad then took it all to a local sawmill, set it in his workshop to dry, and a year later was ready to design. She told Dad she wanted a side table, so he showed her a couple options for legs and the building began. Here you see the fine piece installed in her living room. She loves the table, the story, and knowing that it was made exactly for her home.

Too many times when we see a piece of furniture we have no idea of the time and work that went into creating it. We forget that there was a tree, a process, and all the time transforming it into something beautiful. I know that for generations to come this family will be telling the story of the side table. They will be telling of the woodworking artist who cut down their tree and transformed it into a table. The tale will become family legend and the table will be a prized possession for everyone who owns it. All from a box elder that needed to be removed.

When you look around the place where you live what tales come to mind? Who previously owned the pieces you cherish, the chairs where you nap, the tables that hold your treasures, and the knick knacks that bring joy to your space? I love the tales and stories about the things that decorate our home. I love telling these stories because they keep the people in them alive and among us. I love that someone else valued the items I now cherish, and I look forward to passing them down to the next generation that will care for them and share the tales.


  1. I love this and love the table! It is, indeed, so special to have this unique piece with its unique story. It is fun to know that a piece of that box elder lives on with us.

    Kim H.


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