Outdoor Bistro Counter with Shelf

The Bistro Counter is designed with a ‘live edge’ cut top, shelf, and legs, as well as two sculpted stools for intimate outdoor patio entertaining. The style could work as a breakfast nook. It’s designed in reclaimed spruce and fir with a coat of oil based polyurethane for a water seal and easy maintenance. It’s a fun, in a woodland style, and the chairs fit under the table in a compact eye-pleasing arrangement. All left over wood eventually gets used up!

The table is set at 36″ high (a traditional dining table is around 27″) with a width of 21″ and length of 42″. Design number: 50-BL-12-11, stools are 51, 52.

Natural Spruce Empire Stool

This is a traditional empire stool which was designed for travel on long journeys. We’ve used reclaimed spruce planks, complete with scratches, and drill marks plugged with ash dowels. There are no nails or screws, in fact no metal is used in the design. The seat is pegged to the frame with hemlock dowels. A cubby connects the frame and adds lateral support. Hand grips are ground out on the underside of the seat. The finish is polyurethane. No stain is used.

These chairs are great accents in a hall or bedroom and can often be found with a few clothes or jackets resting on top.

The finished size is 21″x15″ and stands 18″ tall. #07-29-18  Click on images to expand.

Cedar Burl Scrying Bowl

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An ancient (over two hundred years old) river bourne cedar scrying bowl set upon Rowan branches.

This is a one-of-a-kind, very unique showpiece and an original Prairie Bench design. The hand ground Cedar Burl Scrying Bowl has been displayed in local studios and used by fortune tellers who look into future events.

The rich burgundy tones pop on the polished surface which holds approx. 1 liter of water. The legs are twisting and interlocking English Mountain Ash known as Rowan (used for wands) and harvested on site, then joined without metal to create a stunning tripod that cradles the bowl.


The burl is large with an oval shape 40″ long and 24″ across. It’s approximately 12″ thick and set on the stand, the surface is 30″ tall.

‘River bourne’ means this burl came from a tree which fell naturally, swept into a river and later harvested by a licensed tug operator. On the ocean, we call it beachcombing. The source tree fell of it’s own accord or came down naturally. The only cut was to separate the burl from the timber.

The cedar burl has deep burn marks attributed to a lightning strike. You can see in the cross section where a bolt traveled into the wood. This is a unique feature showing burns directly next to untouched wood.


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Scrying is a custom used by sages and fortune tellers to ‘peer’ into the future through a medium such as water in a bowl. The practice is most commonly associated with Nostradamus.

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The Cedar Burl Scrying Bowl is precious and one of a kind so packaging will be extra heavy duty. The burl will need to be set carefully onto the legs once you have chosen its perfect position.

This unique showpiece is the original created by Prairie Bench Poco Canada, our small woodworkers studio that locates interesting examples of wood and uses them in designs. We use natural and safe synthetic materials to preserve and enhance features left by nature. See our moonlight test of the Cedar Scrying Bowl… click here.

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Prairie Birch and Maple Bench

This is a long hall bench (40″ by 15″ wide and 19″ tall) finished in contact safe oils. No stain, nails or screws were used. Every component is pressure fit and glued. The legs and frame support are constructed from a single, aged, maple branch grown onsite. The birch top is from a log salvaged in the Fraser River by a local tug operator.

The grain in this birch specimen is unique with chocolate and caramel colors swirling on a backdrop of creme and ash tones. The rough cut plank still has the sanded and preserved texture of the mill saw on the underside. One edge still has a unique burl notch making it one of a kind. The top and sides are glassy smooth and oiled to a natural polish with some good depth and quilting (the natural shimmer). The maple legs are lightly sanded and left with their natural twists and turns. Everyone who’s seen the bench immediately reaches out and touches the surfaces. It feels solid and comfortable with the unique blend of these two complementary hardwoods. This bench is definitely one of our faves.

81-BL-04-12 Birch and maple, finished in FDA approved cutting board oil. Click the thumb nails to see the unique characteristics of this wood.