Although I’ve occupied desks throughout my personal and work lives, few have been positioned beneath a window. Yet, I’ve unwaveringly supported the idea that there’s no better place for one.
Those few tables in my life that have glowed with natural light are the ones I most remember. Maybe it’s because I’m a natural daydreamer, the kid in class who is paying attention, sort of, but whose mind is following that long glance across the quad to places beyond a map. Or maybe it’s because I just want sunlight and a breeze in my face as I write, draw and read.
I’m fortunate now to have a drafting table for a desk at work (amid a sea of gray cubicles) that faces a sunlit alley, and a home studio that is so comfortable and ideal that it seems on some days the one, true anchor in my life.
I was able to make perfect my home space with the addition of a small drafting table that I bought from a friend at work whose other job is buying antiques and refinishing furniture. I had asked her awhile back to keep an eye out for one and, ironically, she found this one at an estate sale while combing the neighborhood I grew up in.
Its origin is unknown, but my Dad and I deduced that it likely was made in the 1940s or ’50s by a father for his child. The base is fir and the top is thick yellow pine with a warped corner that doesn’t bother me one bit. We wiped it down with mineral spirits, put a coat of butcher’s wax on the top, replaced the pencil edge with a scrap of black walnut, retapped and greased the bolts, and modified the adjustment screw with a pin that better holds the top at an angle.
I now sit at it regularly, gazing at the street below, wondering if anyone notices. The table also politely props the Sunday Times and allows me to read it while standing, which is a delight. All it needs is a proper swing arm lamp, preferably one of the same vintage. That’s a search I’m happy to embark upon, athough, for now, I’m content to just sit here and appreciate the moment in this very special space.