Working with wood is one of the most challenging and rewarding activities a craftsperson can undertake.
Many people think that a tree is alive, and that once cut down its life is over. Nothing could be further from the truth. Wood is a living and breathing thing that changes with time, temperature and humidity. Many of the changes are gradual, and you do not notice them.
When you move a carpet from a hardwood floor, you see the outline of the carpet because light can lighten or darken wood. When wood gets wet you can see it expand and change colour. Many species of wood, cherry in particular, continue to darken over time.
These changes can vary greatly from one species of tree to another. There is even variation within a single tree depending on where a piece of wood was located in the tree and even how close to the outside it was.
All of these challenges are compounded by the difficulty of cutting, assembling and finishing wood.
But once a piece of furniture is completed, it can give you a lifetime of service and beauty.
I work in a variety of wood forms including recovered oak barrel staves, wood pieces rescued from firewood piles, and raw wood from local forests that I dry in my own kiln. These unique sources deliver wood with a quality and character that you will never see in wood from a big-box store or from any traditional furniture store.
I recently acquired four slabs of rough-cut wood that were ripped from a two-foot wide cherry tree. These two inch slabs have a live edge (where the bark is still attached), interesting knots and grain, and both dark heartwood and light sapwood. They have been stickered for several years and after I finish the drying process I have big plans for them.
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