The SISU table, that was on exhibit at the Opera Gallery in NY, was recently sold. A second one, with an identical wood top (from an adjacent cut off the same tree) is set to be completed in December 2011. Only two tables with this particular wooden top will be made. The form itself and its representative idea will be interpreted in other woods and maybe even in other materials.
Interestingly, it is the chance find of these two planks that inspired the eventual form of the table. The wood is wenge, an African hardwood that in itself is not that commonly available in such large pieces. The combination of the hourglass contours of the live edge (the shape of the tree), the contrast of the sap wood against the darker hardwood, and the distinctive grain pattern was very suggestive of the flow of a brook or a river – frozen in time, complete with its eddies and ripples.
The understructure, with the gold leg juxtaposed against the five darker legs, will remain mostly unchanged irrespective of the materials used for the top. It is the key representative element of the central idea that defines the overall form of the table.
The name of the table, SISU, is a Finnish word. It describes a fundamental quality of the Finnish culture. Loosely translated, it defines “strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity. It is not momentary courage as it holds a long-term element – the ability to sustain an action against the odds”.