The businessman Stephen Klinge approached us with a challenge. He wanted us to restore a much-loved kitchen table that belonged to his Austrian mother, and we really wanted to help – but the tabletop was damaged beyond repair. There was, however, a solution. We were confident that we could create a replica that would bring the table’s original beauty back to life in a way that restoration couldn’t.
The original was designed to be a games table, with the slate in the centre used to chalk up scores, and cards stored in the drawers. However, Stephen’s mother had placed it centre stage in the kitchen, making it the focal point for many memorable family moments.
Using the same elm materials, we created an identical copy of what the table, with its lovely inlay pattern, would have looked like when it first came into the Klinge family. We even aged it slightly, using a chamfer and other tools to duplicate some of the original markings.
Stephen was then able to present the table to his mother in a form that combined its original beauty with a convincing sense of lived-in, ‘part of the family’ character.
Stephen Klinge: “I don’t think the family would have forgiven me if this hadn’t gone to plan – the table has such a special place in our history. It’s impossible to distinguish the new table from what the original looked like before time completely took its toll. We all love it and were amazed, if not surprised, by the extraordinary artisan skills of Michael and the team.”