The Exotic Island of Lamu

Cast into the Indian Ocean off the coast of Kenya, the island and town of Lamu is heir to a distinctive tradition over a thousand years old. The Swahili culture and style of Lamu are a mix of East African, Omani, Yemeni, Indian, and some Portuguese and Victorian influences. Of all the old Swahili towns of East Africa, Lamu is one of the very few remaining substantially intact.

 

What is so Special about Lamu?

It is the humidity; It is the heat; it is the aroma of the town; the scent of the tropics;
the donkeys and their droppings; the bui-bui's of the women; the kanzu's and kikoi's of the men;
the intense brilliance of the midday sky, demanding a nap;
the glare of the whitewashed stone houses;
the strong winds blowing off the ocean, rustling the strands of the makuti roofs,
stripping the stone houses of their lime-whitewash and ruining your CD-player;
the Portuguese cannons on the waterfront; the absence of cars; the narrowness of the streets
which shades the heat and barely allows two donkeys to pass each other;
the majestic architecture of the galleries and harem rooms of the patrician Stone Houses;
the mix of Arabic, Indian and African tongues and cultures, lovingly called Swahili.

 

A brief video showing our production process.

Cutting of the wood, carving and our finished Solid Mahogany Tables

 

Click for Lamu, Kenya Forecast

Click for Lamu, Kenya Forecast

click here for a New York Times article on Lamu

click here for images of an Old Stone House in Lamu now being restored

Click here for some more of my thoughts on Lamu

 

Here is a sampling of our Solid Mahogany Tables


The Wood in our Collection

The wood of choice is 'Mbambakofi', a hardwood found off the island of Lamu. It is a member of the Mahogany Family of Woods. The flower of the tree has a delicate, jasmine-like smell. There are extensive Mbambakofi forests in Lamu District on the Main Land of Kenya. Cutting of Mbambakofi trees is supervised by the Kenya Government through the issuance of permits. For every tree cut, two are to be planted.
We can deliver to you immediately from our current stock at our Studio.

Specific orders require about four months delivery inclusive of the ocean voyage from East Africa.

 

SOMETHING ELSE ABOUT OUR WOOD

 

All of our Pieces are made of Solid Mahogany Wood.

The keyword is SOLID.


Rather different from the traditional mahogany furniture you may be more familiar with, which is made of mahogany veneer. Veneer is a very thin slice of wood, which is glued on top of a wooden base of inferior softwood such as pine. The advantage of a veneer piece is that the sheet is completely dried and will not move very much with the elements.

This means that during winter, when homes and apartments are centrally heated, the veneer does not shrink very much. And during humid & hot summer months, it will not expand very much. A classic guaranty for a satisfied customer. However, the disadvantage of a veneer is that after a number of years, it may begin to warp, buckle or even bubble up. I am certain you have seen a piece of furniture where the veneer bubbled up. You were tempted to prick the skin to see what would happen. Likely cause of that buckle was water or humidity that crept underneath the sheet when the glue let go. Humidity is very much an essential element of air and will go wherever it can.

 

Having a piece of Solid Mahogany as a Table
does have certain consequences.


Solid wood is very much a living element. As the former part of a tree, it will continue to absorb the elements of its environment, whether it has been oven-dried, kiln-dried or air-dried. The fibers of the wood are receptors of the air surrounding it. In a dry environment the wood will shrink, guaranteed. In a humid environment it will expand. Over the years and the seasons, there is a lot of motion in relatively small pieces of wood. As a result, cracks may appear in the wood. The crack may give the piece an antique look and you may love the character it produces.

 

CONSTRUCTION OF OUR SOLID MAHOGANY TABLES


We
construct our tables to minimize damage caused by humidity fluctuations. It is imperative you maintain a good level of humidity in your living space, beneficial both to your skin and your wood. A 65% humidity level is ideal, difficult to maintain and better than a 6% humidity centrally heated apartment in the winter.

 

OUR SOLID MAHOGANY LEGS


Our legs measure up to eight inches in diameter. That is big for any piece of furniture. Have you ever seen a solid massive leg? Chances are that the chunky legs on a piece of furniture you may have seen were a composite. This means that the legs were composed of several different pieces of wood that were glued together and turned into a solid-looking piece.


The legs of our Tables are Solid Legs.


They are made of tree trunks that have been turned on a lathe and carved by hand by one of our talented carvers on the exotic island of Lamu. Massive as the legs are, they will take a long time to dry. Whether they are air-dried or kiln-dried, the drying pattern is always the same. From the center of the trunk, a star shape cuts through the wood to the outside edge of the leg. There, small cracks may be visible. After the cracks have formed, we look at each of them. We then decide whether to correct the crack and fill it or leave it alone. We usually do not fill hairline cracks. As a rule, we do fill cracks that exceed one millimeter.


When you look at our Solid Mahogany Legs, you may see small hairline cracks. They are part of the look of our Solid Mahogany Collection. They give the legs the character they will carry well beyond the centuries. We cherish them. We are sure you will too.

 

Our Tables are Majestic, Magnificent & Masculine & Mahogany

They perform best in large spaces

We make them to your specification

 

 

 

WHAT WE MAKE

Solid Mahogany Tables, of a timeless beauty.

All tables are hand carved, dated, numbered and signed. We'll even carve in your Family Crest or your Initials.

Our tables have a feel of Masculine Majesty and a seeming provenance of the European Renaissance. 

Robust as they are, they will last in your home or office for many generations.

OUR GUARANTY:

Each Mahogany Tables piece is fully unique;

There are no other pieces like it anywhere, guaranteed.

 

Mahogany Dining Tables 

Rectangle Mahogany Coffee Tables

Consoles & Sofa Tables

Square Mahogany Coffee Tables 

Mahogany Conference Tables

Smaller Coffee Tables

Mahogany Round Tables

Mahogany Library Tables 
Armoires Beds

Mahogany Planters

A Patrician House

now being restored

in Lamu

The Exotic Island of Lamu

Published Tables

Carvings to choose from 

 

 Order Catalog 

 

Your Family Crest carved in Mahogany

 

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WHAT WE MAKE Solid Mahogany Tables, of a timeless beauty. All tables are hand carved, dated, numbered and signed. We'll even carve in your Family Crest or your Initials. Our tables have a feel of Masculine Majesty and a seeming provenance of the European Renaissance.  Robust as they are, they will last in your home or office for many generations. OUR GUARANTY: Each piece is fully unique; There are no other pieces like it anywhere, guaranteed.    

 

 

AT THE END OF THE WORLD LIES LAMU