A river runs through it

Fishing a favourite stretch of river is one of the most satisfying of country pursuits – and even better if you happen to own that stretch of river.

The River Tyne flows across the table
The River Tyne flows across the table

And now, one talented woodworker is giving fishing enthusiasts the chance to bring that bit of river inside their homes.

Fergus McCoss (24), from the Scottish island of Seil, now splits his time between the UK and Majorca, where he runs Cormorant Carpentry, a marine carpentry business specialising in high-end super yachts.

Fergus, a recent graduate of the Chippendale International School of Furniture, was inspired to make a hallway table as part of his final coursework.

Carved into the top of the table is the course of the River Tyne, from the Chippendale School to the point where it empties into the North Sea, near Dunbar, East Lothian.

The course of the river was obtained using satellite imagery, which was expanded over the length of the table and then transferred by hand onto a template.

Using the template to inscribe the course of the river into the oak table top, Fergus used a fine router with a deep-V cutter to give the impression of an eroded river bed. To add contrast and depth, Fergus used pyrography – which literally means “writing with fire” – and then scorched the groove with a blow torch.

The illusion of water was created using a crystal-clear epoxy resin, which was poured into the groove. However, rather than remove all the bubbles from the mix, Fergus left a certain amount inside the epoxy to catch the light and give the river life, and a real sensation that it is flowing across the table top.

He is currently working on a new design that follows the coastline of South Mallorca, and another which follows the profile of the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, Mallorca – underlining how Fergus’ pyrography and engraving techniques can be applied to any topographical feature.

“By engraving a stretch of river onto a table, you bring the river and its memories into your home, providing a tangible link between the countryside and home environment. It also turns a table into a unique talking-point – an absolutely one-off piece of furniture,” said Fergus.


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