DESIGN Secret chemical process helps transform salvaged lumber into artwork Council founder and Periodic Table designer DerekChen said a secret, water-based coating solution that tints the four blocks of wood silver is what transforms the table into art. The table, part of Council's inaugural collection launched at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York in 2007, has a price tag of $42,000. Chen, who earned a degree in electrical engineering from University of Illinois in 2002, embraced his technical side with the table's next step. Like the rest of Council's product line, the Periodic Table is manufactured with materials harvested respectfully. The company aims to use recycled or renewable materials whenever possible and embraces powder coating finishes over paints with volatile organic compounds.