Monday, July 23, 2012

(Photographing) The Family Table

My very pregnant sister is nesting like crazy, and we recently had a polite, if somewhat emotional, email exchange regarding the possible painting of a sideboard she owns that once belonged to our dad's parents on the family farm.  She and I share similar beliefs about heirloom furniture, but we part ways when it comes to the issue of painting.  (She likes to paint, a lot.  I prefer the natural look of aged wood.)

I begged her not to paint her sideboard, and I lost that argument.  But, in the middle of it all, I did win this beloved table, made by our mom's father in his high school woodworking class.  My sister rescued it when our youngest sister moved, and it was taking up too much space in her guest room.  When she offered it to me, I jumped at the chance to own a little piece of our family's history. 

The table is very old and rickety, and has definitely seen better days.  It's been a sideboard in my grandparents' house, a dining table when my sisters shared their first apartment, a hall table, a guest room table, and now, for me, it will become a place to display the memories of my own little family.

I love owning something that my grandfather built, and it is an amazing link to my family's past.  He died when I was a little girl, and while I was working toward my teacher certification in college, I spent a semester with students at the high school my grandfather attended.  The high school where this table was crafted.  So for me, it has special significance and I will treasure it while it is in my care.

Ryan graciously ventured out in the rainy weather to transport the table home from my sister's house, and I spent part of a Sunday afternoon attempting to capture some of the table's natural beauty.  A good friend of Ryan's, who shares his love of homebrew and happens to be an avid photographer, was kind enough to let us borrow his really awesome camera, so I had fun playing around with it.  Since it was so dark from the storm, I had to leave the flash on.  But I'm learning as I go, and hopefully you will begin to notice better photos here soon.  Here are a few details of my new (to me) table.

A dusty detail of the table's front.
The carved support beam on the bottom.
The ornate legs.
Precious family memories.