NEWS: Fabrication event for ‘The Fenland Black Oak Project’

July 2019

We are delighted to announce that we are now ready to start to build the Fenland Black Oak table. In 2012 a gigantic Black Oak tree was hit by a Fenland farmer’s plough. It had been laying buried deep beneath the peat for 5000 years. With no budget and against all odds a team of dedicated craftspeople decided to try and preserve this Fenland giant for the nation.

To make a table out of bog oak is fairly remarkable in itself but the trunk found measured 45ft (13.71 metres) in length. The trunk was planked in-situ and the 10 boards it produced were transported to the Building Crafts College where a specifically designed and constructed 14 metre drying kiln was waiting for them. It took 18 people to lift each board into the kiln.

After 10 months the moisture content of the boards was reduced to about 18% and 400 gallons of water had been extracted. As a trunk of this length and girth must be unique it was decided that the boards should be kept in length and from them a 13m long table should be made. The trustees have spent a considerable amount of time fundraising and finding a suitable venue (available to the public). With sufficient funding (to make the table top only) now in place and a venue agreed, for 18 months, at Ely Cathedral the table top can now be made over this summer break at the BCC.

This will be done with the students and staff at the College from July 22nd until August 16th this year. We would be delighted if you were able to attend one of the Open Workshop events, along with any guests you would like to bring:

Weds. August 7th 10.00 – 16.00
Thurs. August 8th 17.00 – 21.00
Sat. August 10th 10.00 – 16.00

Building Crafts College, Kennard Road, Stratford, London E15 1AH