2012 Design Contest: Jessica Table

Jesse Poettcker’s table has a functional flaw.

It’s unusual for a designer to bust his work down the middle, but Jesse Poettcker thought the break made his table more functional. “It is like a little shelf,” Poettcker says.

It looks like it was hit by an earthquake. The fault line running through the middle adds a natural element to the table, which is a mixture of glass fibres, cement, sand and polymer. Poettcker used a bit of black dye to darken the natural cement, then used a natural white concrete for the centre. White and black highlight the split.

The idea for the table came from Brandon Gore, an Arizona-based concrete artisan who taught Poettcker the techniques of designing with concrete reinforced with glass fibre. Gore designed a cracked dining room table, and used the gap to house ferns. Poettcker took the same concept, but fattened up the tabletop, making it into a coffee table and giving the table more depth.

The table weighs 140 to 180 kilograms, takes two bodybuilders to move around the living room and can take a beating. It’s not some pretty thing you are afraid to touch. “You can spill red wine and you can leave it overnight and wipe it off after.”

Poettcker loves the understated look of concrete. “Sometimes less is more,” says the designer, who makes furniture through his company, Slab City Studios, for private and commercial clients, including 29 Armstrong.

The Jessica table might eventually be sold through his company, but for now, he’s keeping it for him and his wife, its namesake. “It’s my favourite piece of furniture I have ever made and she is my favourite person.”

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