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Process: Farm Tables With David Ellison

Oct 25, 2011

by objecked

MP4 | YouTube | | Subscribe in iTunes

(Music by Eric Beug, photos courtesy of The Lorimer Workshop)

For this week’s video we are resurfacing an old favorite.

New England is a corner of the United States rich with tradition. David Ellison, known on Etsy as lorimerantiques, and to many of his Providence, Rhode Island neighbors as The Lorimer Workshop, builds furniture steeped in such tradition. He is not only fascinated by the New England legacy, but also by how the simple styles of tables built by farmers have evolved in different regions. While his original enthusiasm for woodworking stemmed from restoring antique furniture as a hobby, David’s interest in the tradition of farm tables turned into a passion, as evident by the stunning conversation pieces below. Incorporating the history of the wood with a modern aesthetic, David’s tables organically serve as a home’s nucleus.

COMP-1.jpgLike many master woodworkers, David focuses his attention on the details of the wood that he sources. He gets much of it locally from the many mills on the outskirts of town. To him, each piece of wood has a story to tell, whether it be with the hatch marks of the saw blade, the knots in the wood, or even the dry rot that has accrued from the way a board was assembled in a previous construction. Rather than turn his nose up at boards with rusty old bolts, or holes left from worms or beetles, he would rather highlight them, and incorporate their signature into the final piece. He recognizes that the history of these markings are just another part of the story yet to be told as each board is bound together by his process.


David acquires his wood from multiple sources, seeking wood that has been salvaged from old buildings, or even wood that has been milled directly from trees, but that has aged many seasons and is therefore undesirable for most woodworking fields. He’s fascinated by the process that old mills have for using every part of the tree, and tries to incorporate those conventions into his work by using as much of the lumber as he can.

He also pays a great deal of attention to the needs of his customers. He humbly admits that many of the ideas for his designs actually come from them. David’s “Bradley” style table, for example, features a natural edge and curvature of the tree still intact running along one edge of the table. While he’s not the first table maker to incorporate the natural outer bark layer of the tree into furniture, Bradley was the first customer who asked David to produce something in this style.


Etsy is also a loyal customer of David’s, having purchased two of his banquet style tables for our kitchen. Many meals, meetings, parties, and even Craft Night overflow wind up at these tables. Most of the desks in our offices are handmade as well, many of which were made by David, in a Parsons-inspired design.

More Videos From the Process Series | Check out all of our Videos at Etsy.TV


  • squeakydingo

    squeakydingo said 8 years ago

    oh so gorgeous. amazing craft!

  • CocoaBeans

    CocoaBeans said 8 years ago

    awesome tables! i love this article! love the quilted table runner also:)

  • Slowshirts

    Slowshirts said 8 years ago

    those are beautiful!

  • MyissaG

    MyissaG said 8 years ago

    Gorgeous Tables :)

  • Vanessa Admin

    Vanessa said 8 years ago

    Beautifully shot, Eric. David, we are all in swoon over your accent!

  • laurelinsailor

    laurelinsailor said 8 years ago

    One for me please!

  • pancakeandlulu

    pancakeandlulu said 8 years ago

    these are great! I want one!

  • SteppingStones

    SteppingStones said 8 years ago

    DAVID.... I'm down the street... build me a table!!! Your work is gorgeous!!!

  • TLCinspirations

    TLCinspirations said 8 years ago

    Looove farm tables! The gnarlier and deeper the grain, the more in love I fall. I've always dreamed of having a huge, rustic farm table that would seat like 12 people in my dream home, which I currently do not have yet :)

  • mtraub

    mtraub said 8 years ago

    "My tables are not particularly beautiful." Um, David, I must disagree.

  • pinkytoeclothing

    pinkytoeclothing said 8 years ago

    Wow, those are absolutely beautiful!

  • adam Admin

    adam said 8 years ago

    1. mtraub, I concur. 2. This really makes me wish I had the time (and the space, skills, tools and knowledge) to do some real woodworking! In the meantime I'll just have to admire from afar.

  • Ebruk

    Ebruk said 8 years ago

    Beautiful !!

  • enhabiten

    enhabiten said 8 years ago

    This was really really good to watch. Thank you. The tables are beautiful in every way.

  • TeenAngster

    TeenAngster said 8 years ago

    David's accent is like smooth, soothing butter on my rough ears. I'm lucky enough to be sitting at a desk made by him, as a matter of fact. Watching him apply the stain...mesmerizing.

  • ElenaMary

    ElenaMary said 8 years ago

    Fascinating to see the the "organic" irregularly shaped tables!

  • aurazencrystals

    aurazencrystals said 8 years ago

    love the tables

  • rakshniyavintage

    rakshniyavintage said 8 years ago

    amazing! I love these videos, they are so magical. TeenAngster - I totally agree about the accent :)

  • ericawalker

    ericawalker said 8 years ago

    i could watch him work all day...

  • ericawalker

    ericawalker said 8 years ago

    ooo, lucky you teenangster. i would love one of his kitchen farmer's tables.

  • kissadesign

    kissadesign said 8 years ago

    Now *those* are tables!!! Gorgeous!

  • manvsgeorge

    manvsgeorge said 8 years ago

    Gorgeous tables! I'm a fan of mid-century Danish teak myself, but the table in the last photo has me drooling... :-)

  • MinceCo

    MinceCo said 8 years ago

    mm, great stuff, reminds me of a table I used to own. it was made of oregon , recycled from a nearby schoolhouse and had no nails to join it, just finger joints. Very nice. Can you get those shoes off your table though!!

  • reinaldovalentin

    reinaldovalentin said 8 years ago

    Beautiful tables and a great video.

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry said 8 years ago

    beautiful! A treat to watch!

  • daniellexo

    daniellexo said 8 years ago

    What a dreamy video! I've always wanted to make furniture - perhaps in my next lifetime.

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat said 8 years ago

    They're not FANCY, but they certainly ARE beautiful!

  • riorita

    riorita said 8 years ago

    Beautiful tables! I'd one of these for my own home!

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm said 8 years ago

    Beautiful workmanship~!

  • bellasparty

    bellasparty said 8 years ago

    Wonderful tables!

  • handjstarcreations

    handjstarcreations said 8 years ago

    such lovely items..

  • bshousley

    bshousley said 8 years ago

    I have alway liked the simplicity of old farm tables. I am glad to see you are useing recycled wood. The wood in the local lumber yards does not compare. It is satisfying to make something yourself.

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage said 8 years ago

    gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

  • rarebeasts

    rarebeasts said 8 years ago

    Just amazing work.

  • woodmosaics

    woodmosaics said 8 years ago

    Very nice.

  • eclecticmoi

    eclecticmoi said 8 years ago

    Oh I enjoyed watching this video very much! Thank you so much, Your work is Gorgeous :)

  • handmadebyhisgrace

    handmadebyhisgrace said 8 years ago

    I'm loving the Bradley style table! It's gorgeous! Great workmanship.

  • bluewhitejewelrywear

    bluewhitejewelrywear said 8 years ago

    These tables are so lovely!

  • loopyboopy

    loopyboopy said 8 years ago

    OMG goregeous!!! I would die for one of those tables. The craftmanship is inspiring!

  • CrossExtreme

    CrossExtreme said 8 years ago

    So lovely! I grew up in Maine and have always loved this style. Many of my friends, especially those living in old farm houses, had tables just like these. Some well over a century old and still looking beautiful. The craftsmanship speaks volumes!

  • sarahknightdesign

    sarahknightdesign said 8 years ago

    Wow! Beautiful work! Thanks for posting something a little different, Etsy:)

  • CatzillaCrafts

    CatzillaCrafts said 8 years ago

    Beautiful! I wish I had room for that banquet table!

  • pocketcarnival

    pocketcarnival said 8 years ago

    Amazing. I would love to have a beautiful hand crafted table like that!

  • blueberryshoes

    blueberryshoes said 8 years ago

    so moved i could cry

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 said 8 years ago

    Exquisite. I'm sure these tables will be enjoyed for generations.

  • tippleandsnack

    tippleandsnack said 8 years ago

    Wow. Amazing workmanship.

  • bylynnkrestel

    bylynnkrestel said 8 years ago

    i want one! i want one!! absolute workmanship - wow!!

  • alittleVintageShop

    alittleVintageShop said 8 years ago

    So gorgeous!

  • sewlola

    sewlola said 8 years ago

    I enjoy watching the process videos. David, your work is beautiful and inspiring.

  • 1AEON

    1AEON said 8 years ago

    i love wood and working with wood long as we plant the trees back - Im all for the warm feel of the wood and great look..

  • birdie1

    birdie1 said 8 years ago

    Your tables are incredibly beautiful!

  • oldohiofarmfinds

    oldohiofarmfinds said 8 years ago

    Inspiring . . . thank you for sharing!

  • Lunatiger

    Lunatiger said 8 years ago

    I love watching the whole process! Beautiful work!

  • opendoorstudio

    opendoorstudio said 8 years ago

    beautiful collection! love the tables and the pillar candles by funretro!

  • funretro

    funretro said 8 years ago

    so absolutely gorgeous! i am honored to be in the "related items" section!

  • Rokali

    Rokali said 8 years ago

    This is fantastic, thanks for making visible what is so often hidden.

  • SassySisterVintage

    SassySisterVintage said 8 years ago

    Etsy, since you're a customer of David Ellison, you should show us the tables in your kitchen that David made and other items inside the premises of Etsy that are cool/unique/interesting. His tables are awesome by the way!

  • mingtaphotography

    mingtaphotography said 8 years ago

    Great work!!!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 8 years ago


  • Ebrown2503

    Ebrown2503 said 8 years ago

    What a wonderful way to end my evening here in the studio. Thanks very much for bring this video clip to the community. Such wonderful artistry!

  • TheArtOfJoy

    TheArtOfJoy said 8 years ago

    One word: Amazing!

  • purpleWHALEdesigns

    purpleWHALEdesigns said 8 years ago

    wow! how beautiful

  • FerntreeStudio

    FerntreeStudio said 8 years ago

    Absolutely fantastic. I wanted to make furniture in a past life, but I have issues with the whole 'measure twice, cut once' rule. I tend to measure 5 times and still have to cut 8.

  • aisle3studio

    aisle3studio said 8 years ago

    rare to find such well made pieces

  • bread

    bread said 8 years ago

    I think its great that the etsy office actually lives what it preaches ,and uses handmade furnishings.Very cool.

  • HoneysuckleLane

    HoneysuckleLane said 8 years ago

    Gorgeous work David! Your tables are beautiful and will be cherished for years to come. I am lucky to be married to a talented woodworker, but unlucky that he stays so busy making things for customers that I still have a waiting list of my own...

  • LexLuxe

    LexLuxe said 8 years ago

    wow!! truly beautiful woodwork. love the simple classic designs and stunning grain...thanks!

  • aggieray

    aggieray said 8 years ago

    Me too... it takes ETSY to get to know your local artist! congratulations to you! Beautiful work!

  • Whimsywares

    Whimsywares said 8 years ago

    Beautiful tables. It's obvious that a lot of work goes into each one.

  • lightbeams

    lightbeams said 8 years ago

    Wonderful video! As a wodworker the tablesaw scene made me cringe(feeding wood from the wrong side of the blade is sooooo dangerous) but the tables are beautiful. Also loved the music.

  • maggiemaevintage

    maggiemaevintage said 8 years ago

    always loved a great big farm table - love the textures. Absolutely beautiful work David - love the signature style!

  • floresdelsol

    floresdelsol said 8 years ago

    wow. speechless. That is art in its truest form!

  • weirdwolf Admin

    weirdwolf said 8 years ago

    David's desks and farm tables are just gorgeous. So well designed and crafted. Wonderful video, thank you!

  • ArzuMusa

    ArzuMusa said 8 years ago

    Wonderful to see the process... thank you for sharing these amazing tables...

  • lizroca

    lizroca said 8 years ago

    Great video and wonderful work by David.

  • seacucumbermama

    seacucumbermama said 8 years ago

    belles tables, belle video, belle musique. merci. je voudrais une table et une ferme!

  • Zooguu

    Zooguu said 8 years ago

    I really enjoyed this. Thanks for giving us a peek into your process.

  • iceBerk

    iceBerk said 8 years ago


  • CavemanPottery

    CavemanPottery said 8 years ago

    Awesome, I want a new house so I will have room for one of those tables!

  • BlackStar

    BlackStar said 8 years ago

    Beautiful work! Thanks for sharing your video with us.

  • photosworldwide

    photosworldwide said 8 years ago

    Quality and craftmanship - two things sadly lacking in a mass-produced world. It's hard to see any youngster today being interested in the level of detail that this man shows in his work. Outstanding.

  • BellaDaze

    BellaDaze said 8 years ago

    Outstanding! David, I honor your talents and true craftsmanship. Etsy, I value that you exercise what you preach.

  • sharonclancydesigns

    sharonclancydesigns said 8 years ago

    Wow, so amazing! I have a new appreciation for handmade furniture! The tables are gorgeous in their simplicity. I loved this video!

  • ArtisticIntentions

    ArtisticIntentions said 8 years ago

    Those tables are beautiful!!

  • gemagenta

    gemagenta said 8 years ago

    Wow!! Amazing video! :D David, you're so talented! It was great to watch how you crafted a beautiful table. Yor furniture is stunning, I wish you all the success! I did some woodworking while I was studying and it's so fullfilling :)

  • dafnadagan

    dafnadagan said 8 years ago

    fantastic :)

  • dafnadagan

    dafnadagan said 8 years ago

    fantastic :)

  • wackyfacemask

    wackyfacemask said 8 years ago

    Wow, could just see us sitting at one on them. Great article.

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 8 years ago


  • mck254

    mck254 said 8 years ago

    I love seeing how people work, their tools, their space. Another great video!

  • callex

    callex said 8 years ago

    Love it! If you have time, have a look at

  • bradleyii

    bradleyii said 8 years ago

    amazing work-- obviously I am partial to one particular style... cheers mate.

  • nowcreations

    nowcreations said 8 years ago

    Beautiful work. I started small, but going in that direction. I love it.

  • bastiano

    bastiano said 8 years ago

    Great for the rescue of the old and more human way of working with wood. Never I've liked the industrial perfection of some things. Beautiful tables. I want one for my workshop in Sweden to work with my notebooks.

  • englishmuffinshop

    englishmuffinshop said 8 years ago

    just watched the video, very interesting. i love the tables and hope to one day have one in my home. beautiful work David :)

  • loranscruggs

    loranscruggs said 8 years ago

    Love the functional quality of the rough wood!

  • marikoamievintage

    marikoamievintage said 8 years ago

    Such an amazing story that brought a tear to my eye! It's so lovely that people can do what they love and have the means to share it with others around the world. You're an inspiration to us all, David! Thank you for sharing your story.

  • 3vintagehearts

    3vintagehearts said 8 years ago

    like the good ole days when lots of time and superior craftmanship was spent on each work of art!

  • redemptionart

    redemptionart said 8 years ago

    the close up shots actually made me cry..when wood comes alive again!

  • Fibrillaria

    Fibrillaria said 8 years ago

    Very beautiful and wonderful craftmanship!!! I am always so happy to see that there are people who take the time to admire each board, whether imperfect of not, well done!

  • redemptionart

    redemptionart said 8 years ago

    omg...i want one!

  • Deeannelizabeths

    Deeannelizabeths said 7 years ago

    Beautiful wood work, I love it

  • FranceGallery

    FranceGallery said 7 years ago

    Your tables are lovely!

  • TresFrenchHens

    TresFrenchHens said 7 years ago

    Beautiful tables! I love the craftsmanship!

  • GrayFlannelDesign

    GrayFlannelDesign said 7 years ago

    OOoo! These tables are gorgeous!

  • VoleedeMoineaux

    VoleedeMoineaux said 7 years ago

    I wish I could do stuff like that!

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 7 years ago

    Wow...your work is amazing! Beautiful!!!

  • NoFrump

    NoFrump said 7 years ago

    awesome video. I've been in love with farm tables for as long as I knew what they were. so glad to have seen this! :)

  • picklehead

    picklehead said 7 years ago

    So very beautiful! Also love the wooden folding chairs in the first picture :) thanks for this super cool video!

  • peshka

    peshka said 7 years ago

    Beautiful !!

  • Verdurebydesign

    Verdurebydesign said 7 years ago

    The table is the heart of a home. I love the old tables and wonder what conversations went on around them. Beautiful tables David!

  • RossLab

    RossLab said 7 years ago

    very very beautiful!

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat said 7 years ago

    Oh, to have enough clout with Etsy to be featured so heavily on the Front Page twice within a year... us lesser mortals can but dream!

  • shantyirish

    shantyirish said 7 years ago

    very nice

  • PickUpSticksShop

    PickUpSticksShop said 7 years ago

    Having a love of wood and having worked in the sawmill industry all my life, your tables are a real treat and honor the wood you choose.

  • PruAtelier

    PruAtelier said 7 years ago

    I'll take one! Love rustic farm tables from wood with a past life!

  • hlcarvings

    hlcarvings said 7 years ago

    beautiful even after 100 years,wood never gets old

  • littleshopofphotos

    littleshopofphotos said 7 years ago

    Such beautiful work! I love farm tables and furniture made from reclaimed wood. Living in New England really is so wonderful and rustic!!

  • IcingOnTheCupcake

    IcingOnTheCupcake said 7 years ago

    Beautiful tables!

  • debcarvalho

    debcarvalho said 7 years ago


  • 4EnvisioningVintage

    4EnvisioningVintage said 7 years ago

    Amazing talent!

  • PattiTrostle

    PattiTrostle said 7 years ago

    Just beautiful! Wonderful work!!

  • TeaAtHomeWithOlivia

    TeaAtHomeWithOlivia said 7 years ago

    Love it! Such wonderful work.

  • mimisrecycledesigns

    mimisrecycledesigns said 7 years ago

    Beautiful tables and amazing talent!

  • DukeCreekStudios

    DukeCreekStudios said 7 years ago

    Love the rough sawn wood table tops, especially with the one shoe!

  • oldsnapshot

    oldsnapshot said 7 years ago

    David, I think Etsy admin loves you. Beautiful work.

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 7 years ago


  • KMalinka

    KMalinka said 7 years ago

    great work!

  • maggy24

    maggy24 said 7 years ago

    thanks for that video. I agree, it's a really great work!

  • PoetryofObjects

    PoetryofObjects said 7 years ago

    Beautiful work!

  • KARozWoodworking

    KARozWoodworking said 7 years ago

    Great work...I can really relate to your interview since I work the same way....I wish my shop was that big!

  • knitfitt

    knitfitt said 7 years ago

    Sat at one of these tables on a recent visit to Etsy. Great for conversation. Enjoyed the video.

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 said 7 years ago

    Our aesthetic, too. A vital craft, profoundly beautiful & authentic heritage americana at its finest. Been hanging on to some near century old wormy chestnut boards, hoping to use when we have the space. Thank you!

  • kayratastaki

    kayratastaki said 7 years ago

    Amazing work.Gorgeous!

  • tothzsofi

    tothzsofi said 7 years ago

    Amazing!!! It inspires me, and I wish once I could have a table like these in the video...!!!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 7 years ago

    Beautiful I love the grain of the rich wood, fabulous!

  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies said 7 years ago

    Beautiful work. I love wood workers!

  • LavenderField

    LavenderField said 7 years ago

    Amazing tables, love them all!

  • DeuxPetitesSouris

    DeuxPetitesSouris said 7 years ago

    Wonderful video. I as a maker myself i appreciate the satisfaction that comes from making something that brings joy not just to the maker, but also to the people will ultimately use the item in their home. How wonderful to be making something that brings people together for a family dinner or a place where a mother can help her child with homework, or where friends gather a game of cards.

  • artworksbycarol

    artworksbycarol said 7 years ago

    A table for family to gather is so important.I recently mentioned to my family about updating and painting our farm table,my girls replied in a loud NO! leave it the way it is.We have made many memories at this table in the past 20 yrs. Your tables look like they are going to gather a bunch of memories also. Love the huge forest painting behind that one table!

  • idiosink

    idiosink said 7 years ago

    Your tables are gorgeous! Been looking for something similar in the UK and I'm jet to find it!

  • TaylorArts

    TaylorArts said 7 years ago

    Cool to see what you do. My husband makes farm tables with wood he salvaged in the Delta. He's got orders out to Spring and can hardly keep up. Each one is a work of art. Glad to see others keeping alive the tradition.

  • designlab443

    designlab443 said 7 years ago

    Lovely work... wood is beautiful!

  • silvergran

    silvergran said 7 years ago

    Fantastic! The man, his craft, the detail, the finished product,the tradition...wonderful concept carried through. Now if only he was in NZ!

  • woodywald72

    woodywald72 said 7 years ago

    simplemente hermoso... sublime para mis sentidos!!! hermoso y inmensamente gratificante!!! ojala que nunca se pierda la labor de Sr David Ellison!!!

  • woodywald72

    woodywald72 said 7 years ago

    hermosooooo... sublime para los sentidos!!!

  • AnnieQDesigns

    AnnieQDesigns said 7 years ago

    I love your tables! Beautiful work!

  • rounddaddy

    rounddaddy said 7 years ago

    Excellent idea. I have done the same thing with pens believe it or not! I got some wood from an old fence and turned some pens out of it. I did the same thing from driftwood as well. I think I will put a driftwood pen up for sale soon...

  • LostAtticTreasures

    LostAtticTreasures said 7 years ago

    I just love these tables. Your work is very beautiful. You are gifted.

  • GunnyIsmybestfriend

    Jason McLeod from GunnyIsmybestfriend said 6 years ago

    I have a university thesis project going on at the moment. There are similar themes present. I am collecting stories of home. Have a look, maybe you would like to be part of the discussion.

  • linkatpop

    Linda Pope said 5 years ago

    I have an antique live edge trestle table that looks incredibly like your beautiful live edge trestle listed for $1,475. My table was mfg in Rhode Island with mfg's label on the bottom of the one plank top. How can I find the value of my table?

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