First Sight - The Brandegee Blog

Ramblings on Crafting Useable Art (and other things that I find interesting)

First Sight

Posted on October 24, 2012

When we first saw our log cabin up a dirt road in a holler between two steep hills, I was smitten.

Sure, the chinking had gaping holes, there were rusty old chairs hanging from porch rafters, and it was hard to maneuver in the kitchen with seven green-and-cream enameled cook stoves crowding the space.  None worked; all were just residue of the preceding four or five decades of the place’s use as a hunters’ cabin.  The two bedrooms upstairs had more than 20 beds and mattresses, all festooned with mouse turds and mothballs – very fragrant!

After we had bought the place, we noticed that the windows wouldn’t think of staying up without a stick to hold them.  Generations of hunters had planed their sides so they could target unwary deer without having to venture out of the relative comfort of the cabin.

Ada told me she knew she’d have trouble talking me out of buying the property before we even entered the cabin.  The approach was up a sloped dirt track shaded by beautiful century-old spruce trees, flanked on one side by a stream tumbling over and around dark stones and on the other by a steep hillside showing nearly as much in stone outcroppings as green underbrush and trees.

About a half mile up from the macadam road, the track opened to a view of the log-striped side of the cabin.  The setting, with the stream flowing between the back of the cabin and a pair of giant boulders, was simply beautiful.

The cabin also started something inside me.  Most of my furniture designs tap the rough beauty of antique logs, beams, and barnboard.  I blame it on the cabin.

This coffee table uses one log leg section that bites an end of the top section; the other two legs were formed by splitting a log diagonally.  The top comprised fine figured walnut above a skirt of white barnboard from which a hidden drawer slides out.  Great to hold your game of Monopoly or a flask of bourbon, if that’s your preference.

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