The Elm Tree Story

Clarke Titus is one of my favorite artisans. Not only because he creates amazing, innovative pieces, but he's also one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. A little while back, we were discussing a custom cabinet for my kitchen and during the conversation, he mentioned this massive elm table he had just completed. The story was just too good, I had to share it on Sweet Peach...

It all started back in 2008 when an unsuspecting tornado blew through Cabbagetown- one of my favorite areas of Atlanta that's only 2 miles from my own home. It's an historic area with shotgun homes and a wonderful, creative spirit. This 'ol elm tree was one of the many tragedies of the storm, as it was 175 years old. 

This past May, Clarke purchased two slabs from the salvaged tree that was so rich in history and character. He decided to craft a table. 

Clarke, "First, I trimmed it to a rough final shape. I built a router sled to surface it which was too big to move around a lot at 4" thick and I didn't want to find a CNC machine. After surfacing the top and bottom, I got it flat on both sides, as it was pretty wavy. Then I started sanding and sanding and more sanding...made some butterfly keys to join the wood, then more sanding. Lastly, I designed and fabricated the legs."

Gorgeous, eh? Clarke hopes to sell the table to someone local, someone who will continue the story of the 175 year old elm tree that we lost in a tornado back in 2008. I love the idea of a family sitting around this piece of ancient history- wondering what this tree has seen over the years, then adding some of their own tales, day by day, year by year. And just like that, the 'ol elm tree from Cabbagetown lives on...


Photos: Bryan Meltz; Clarke Titus;  Fallen elm shot: Alfredo Aponte    Content: Sweet Peach