Studio Furniture Artist Charles Lushear of Bohemian Workbench teamed up with Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida to create a custom 15′ Nintendo conference table. Finding its home in the Super Mario Bros. conference room, here the Universal team will plan for its partnering with Nintendo to bring Mario and other iconic characters to its theme parks.
Nintendo and Universal Parks & Resorts today announced plans to bring the world of Nintendo to life at Universal theme parks – creating spectacular, dedicated experiences based on Nintendo’s wildly popular games, characters and worlds.
The agreement brings two icons of entertainment together and represents a significant partnership for Nintendo as it expands the reach and popularity of its characters and intellectual property.
Universal theme parks offer incredibly popular, innovative themed family entertainment experiences based on compelling stories and characters – using powerful storytelling and innovative technology. Nintendo has created remarkable and imaginative worlds filled with captivating stories and beloved characters. Now, for the first time, those stories and characters will be brought to life in entirely new ways – only at Universal theme parks.
The immersive experiences will include major attractions at Universal’s theme parks and will feature Nintendo’s most famous characters and games. More details will be announced in the future, as the Nintendo and Universal creative teams work to create specific concepts.
The Lifeguard Stand Dog House by Charles Lushear of Venice, California’s Bohemian Workbench, a custom design studio that specializes in unique creations and functional art, is about as cool as a dog house gets.
The miniature replica of a Lifeguard’s stand is impressively authentic-looking, made of wood and hand painted. It features three tinted acrylic windows, functional shutters with authentic lifeguard text, removable Kong rescue chew toy, removable ramp, and super strong construction.
Lushear, who is best known for his awesome game controller tables, doesn’t cut corners. His pieces are immaculately fabricated and painstakingly detailed.
This beauty can be custom sized for your dog. The adorable King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, Brody, shown in these photos is the Bohemian Workshop dog. And he weighs about 23 lbs.
Each dimension was carefully chosen and painstakingly fabricated. No detail was spared. As Charles says “It’s probably nice enough for you to live in when you’re in trouble.”
Stand: 50″ length x 44″ width x 44″ height
Ramp: 46″ length x 19″ width x 11.5″ height
Buyer is responsible for freight costs. Please inquire prior to purchasing and provide a postal code. Local pick up is encouraged.
When Charles began the research for this piece, he had no idea how much lifeguard stands varied around the world. He found each one fascinating and exciting. If you’d like one designed after your local or favorite destination design, He’d be more than thrilled to create it for you.
Bohemian Workbench was thrilled to donate to amazing cause: ART90266 is a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness for arts & culture in the South Bay Los Angeles and giving back to the community. The table donated was a non-functional model created from curly maple, mahogany, and stunning African Bubinga. The auction of this table, along with works from extremely talents artists and photographers, helped raise over $35K through which more than 1,400 South Bay kids will go to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the remaining funds will go towards establishing “Artist in Residency” programs.
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Gifts of the Season 2013: Table Games
DECEMBER 01, 2013
A handcrafted piece of furniture that brings form and function to new levels.
When the nintendo corporation released its revolutionary, 8-bit video game console in the United States back in 1985, Ronald Reagan had just begun his second term, Tears for Fears’ hit single “Shout” dominated the radio airwaves, and a pair of future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, Joe Montana and Dan Marino, squared off during Super Bowl XIX in what amounted to a lopsided affair in Stanford, Calif. Charles Lushear was only 2 years old at the time, but his childhood later would be punctuated by countless hours spent playing Nintendo—more specifically, the company’s 16-bit console, Super Nintendo, which hit the American market in 1991.
Fast-forward to the present, where Lushear—now the sole proprietor of Bohemian Workbench in Southern California—spends more time building furniture in his woodworking shop than he does seated in front of a television with a video game controller in his hands. Within the last year, however, the 30-year-old furniture maker has found a way to marry those two passions by designing a functional Nintendo Wii coffee table, which resembles a classic Nintendo controller from the mid-1980s.
Lushear makes a few variations of the table, including a nonfunctioning model and one that’s designed to function only with the original Nintendo Entertainment System. His pride and joy, however, is the $7,200 Wii-compatible table that’s crafted from curly maple, bird’s-eye maple, African bubinga, and mahogany hardwoods. The table features dovetail joinery and a side-mounted bison holster, which cradles a handcrafted zapper made from bubinga and maple. The zapper, which includes a vibrating mechanism and a speaker, serves as a replacement for the traditional Wii controller and also pays homage to the old-school zapper that die-hard gamers will remember from Nintendo’s early Duck Hunt days. The nostalgic piece of furniture also can serve as a traditional table, thanks to a removable glass top.
Whether it’s being used as an oversize Nintendo controller or as a traditional coffee table, Lushear’s creation is a guaranteed conversation starter; however, the creator is most proud of the table’s functionality. “I was so excited about the materials that I got that I made the decision to make it functional,” says Lushear, explaining that it was a last-minute creative impulse to equip the table with the necessary electronics to turn it into a gaming device.
Yes, that’s right—should gamers want to rekindle their lost youth, they can use the table to play almost 200 original Nintendo games that are available for download on the Wii. Given the size of the table—er . . . controller—the gaming experience will not be exactly as they remember it, though. Lushear says that playing any game on the table is typically a two-person job. Nevertheless, it’s an object that is sure to capture the attention and curiosity of all who see it, and that, Lushear says, is what he strives to do with every new piece that he makes: “I really want to make a statement with my work and give people something to talk about.” Bohemian Workbench, 310.720.6597, www.bohoworkbench.com -
“I don’t really build traditional things, and I want to keep it that way.” – Charles Lushear
Prepare to have your minds blown. Someone has figured out how to make a beautiful, handcrafted coffee table that doubles as a functional Wii controller. Yup, you heard that right!
Introducing Charles Lushear of Bohemian Workbench. Some of you may recall hearing about the functional Nintendo controller coffee table from Lushear earlier this year. He’s taken it a step further and really outdone himself by bringing us the first functional Wii controller of its kind. It even includes a Zapper used for menu selection (translation = the “Duck Hunt gun” for us 80’s babies). Hand-carved out of exotic wood, it vibrates and has a speaker just like the original controller.
The masterpiece debuted at the Abbot Kinney Festival a few weeks back, and to say it was the highlight is to put it mildly. It would have been impressive enough to build a basic table that also functioned, but the gorgeous woodwork is clearly crafted by the hands of an artist. The table is made of rich African Bubinga, Quilted Maple, Birdseye Maple, and Mahogany and features mid century modern legs – my absolute favorite. (Don’t worry, I don’t know what most of those are either, but it sure sounds fancy.)
I swooned at first sight and had to meet the brains behind this artful contraption. Turns out he’s as smart and interesting as you’d imagine. Woodworker, musician, classic car aficionado and self-proclaimed Excel geek. To put it in the words of my husband, “He’s basically a really handsome nerd. So unfair.”
How does one get started designing this kind of stuff?
I grew up around tools, building things, working on cars. My father is a master craftsman and mechanic so I learned quite a lot from him. I was very lucky to grow up in that environment and have such an amazingly talented mentor and teacher. If we weren’t fishing, we were building something. He was and still is a huge influence on my work.
I went to college and decided for some reason to study Finance, Accounting and Economics. I was a huge nerd in college – a huge drunk the first 2 years, but then once I finally got past the core requirements, I was in the library until midnight every night. I really enjoyed it, but I never really saw myself in an office. I wanted to go to California and join a band. I had a guitar back then.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Jersey right around Atlantic City.
So did you end up moving out here right away?
I did. I had some friends out here, and I surfed couches for a while. It was such a blast. I was with 4 other guys. They were all musicians, and we just partied and played music all the time.
I got really lucky with a job as a guitar buyer with Cordoba Guitars in Santa Monica. The retail division primarily dealt with rare, collectible guitars as far back as 1870. Being around these, I figured I want to try making one. So I decided to move, get a house and set up a shop even though I never knew anything about these tools – which is really stupid, by the way, because it can be very dangerous. Looking back, I don’t know how I still have my fingers.
What kind of tools does one need as a woodworker?
I have a table saw, a router, a jointer, a bandsaw, a drill press…
Sounds very manly.
There are women doing it, too. I didn’t see myself getting into furniture at all. At the guitar company, I had a 9-5 office job, and I would moonlight as a guitar builder. I couldn’t stop thinking about what I was doing afterhours so it came to a point where I was like, I have to get out of here and focus on this. I’m just not really an office guy, although I really do love business.
Anyway, I decided to leave there around 2010, and I gave the furniture and guitar thing a full-time commitment. It was really rough initially, because no one cared.
What was your very first piece?
A classic guitar. The whole guitar world is really focused on the name. Of course there’s quality that comes with the name, but I could never get that kind of money, because no one knew who I was. More importantly, there’s only so far you can go creatively with guitars. I’m not sure if you picked up on it, but I like to build weird stuff, and I really get excited about that.
So I started to get into furniture. My first piece was a Morris chair which was from the Arts & Craft era from around 1900, but I made a mini one. I sold it on Abbot Kinney fairly quickly, but it was still really difficult to sell my pieces. I was only on Craigslist, and everyone there is looking for a deal.
So I decided I should get a job again, and I ended up going to a place in El Segundo called MotoArt. They build furniture out of old airplane parts – an amazing company. They really opened my eyes to the idea that anything can be a piece of furniture, especially coffee tables. I was building desks out of wings. They’re really unique, and there was a market for it so I started doing really unique stuff. I ended up leaving about a year ago.
Tell me the story of how the first Nintendo table came to be.
A friend of mine needed a coffee table, and he’s really into video games. I can’t take full credit for the Nintendo thing. Aussie Kyle Downes did it back in ’08. His was painted like the original. I said I want to do that, but I’m a wood guy. I love wood grain and exotic hardwoods, and I actually hate painting. So if I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do it out of really beautiful wood.
It wasn’t going to function initially. It was a last-minute decision and am quite happy I did it.
How did you figure out how to make it work?
I have a mechanical background with the cars and just tried different set-ups. It’s pretty much just bolts and springs. The electronics from ’85 were very simple.
Talk to me about the new Wii table.
I started designing that one in May. The electronics were challenging. It was very intricate, delicate and tedious. When I first opened up the controller, I thought to myself, they’ve come a long way since ’85.
Creating the gun was really fun. It took me about a week. It was hand-carved out of a solid chunk of Bubinga and wrapped with Quilted Maple. I had a bison leather custom holster made (for the gun) mounted on the side that I didn’t get a chance to attach before the show.
One thing that struck me is the midcentury modern design. Do you just have a personal affinity for that style?
For some reason, midcentury modern legs remind me of The Jetsons. I just thought it was always cool.
Do you have a favorite piece?
Probably my favorite so far is the Elmo ukelele.
My niece was obsessed with Elmo, and her birthday was coming up. It’s all made from a single slab of Maple. The eyeballs and mouth are inlaid, there’s no paint or anything. Creating that was challenging, fun and rewarding.
How did you end up in Venice?
I just wanted a shop by the beach and Venice is where I ended up. Turns out it’s very artsy. I was riding my bike down the beach. I look over to my left, and I see Fishbone playing. You don’t see this kind of shit in Jersey. It’s really cool. The environment is inspiring and exciting. There’s always something going on, a lot of creative people. It’s an influence, and I’ve really grown to love it.
Any favorite Venice haunts?
I’m a huge fan of Townhouse – big beers, great music.
Only place on Abbot Kinney is probably The Roosterfish. Such nice people there, and it’s laidback. Maybe The Brig on a Tuesday – there’s a live band. It’s a lot of fun, jazz funk stuff. Incredible musicians, it’s all improv. Get there around 9:30-10.
Right now I’m obsessed with:
Brazilian Rosewood. It’s great for guitars, and it’s illegal to harvest anymore which is a good thing, because it’s extremely rare. It’s gorgeous.
One thing people would be surprised to know about me:
I think baby shoes are adorable. I get excited about 2-dollar bills and half dollars…silly stuff like that.
My favorite classic car is:
I’m definitely a Ford guy.
Last concert I attended:
DeadMau5. I listen to a lot of House music and Daft Punk in the shop. I have a lot of soundtracks from movies…I love Batman Begins and Inception.
A more recent band I saw was Beat Club - really fun dance music. I had the song, Globetrotters, on loop as I was cutting out the gun.
If I could live in any era, I’d choose:
The 50‘s, probably because I grew up around old cars. I learned stick on a 1950 Ford in the backyard.
Favorite place in the world:
St. Thomas. I’ve been there 3 times, and there’s this place called Megan’s Bay which has a really gorgeous beach.
The second would be my backyard in Jersey. I grew up on 40 acres of marshlands. There are 3 acres of grass and surrounding that is a marsh and a forest, and there’s a creek back there. Every time I go home, I get a lawn chair and sit back there. I miss mowing the lawn. I had a tractor from the 70‘s, and I’d go around in circles until you eventually end up in the middle. It’s just so therapeutic.
One place I’m dying to visit:
Tahiti. I want to have one of those huts on the coast and go there with somebody special, have a wild time, and then jump off naked into the water, then come back and do it again. And then get room service.
Come check out The Bohemian Workbench at this years Abbot Kinney Festival.
If you missed out last time a functional NES controller coffee table was put up for sale, rejoice, because Charles Lushear is offering examples on his Etsy store. The 42″x 18.25″ x 18″ tables are handmade from maple, mahogany and walnut with dovetail joinery and mid century modern legs, and feature a removable glass top and retractable cord. In addition, customers can choose from four different versions to suit various preferences and budgets, including composite and nonfunctional models.
We were so impressed with the Functional Nintendo Controller Coffee Table, that we decided to purchase it for our visitors and give it away to one lucky and loyal site visitor. Entry is quick and painless. Just use the entry form below and follow the instructions. Earn more chances to win by “following” us on Twitter and “sharing” this giveaway with your friends. All can be done from within the entry form.
The world needs more luxurious gaming furniture and less of those gaudy leather gamer chairs with built-in speakers.
Gaming decor goes to the next level with this coffee table that actually works as a fully functional Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) controller. Talented woodworker Charles Lushear sells the massive controller table on Etsy for $3,500 (plus shipping). The exotic item’s 42 inches long, 18.25 inches wide, and 18 inches high, and you might want to seek permission from your significant other before purchasing it.
We truly admire how accurate the table appears compared with the original NES controller. Lushear assembled the coffee table with “maple, mahogany, and walnut with dovetail joinery and mid-century modern legs,” according to the description. The glass top removes easily for gameplay, and it features a retractable cord so nobody trips up after a marathon Mario session.