Thursday, February 6, 2014

Finding beautiful wood and working with it.

Some Lovely Houses

It seems that I have been fortunate in finding pieces of wood full of possibility and beauty in recent weeks.  This is not always the case, even though I have had a long stretch of them in my shop. Many times I have found myself making "something from not much" ,drawing deeply on my creativity. Finding wood that leads the way, full of character and ideas is very enjoyable indeed. What I see in the wood is something I would call lyrical,  I see a rhythm and flow in it that sets me to work finding other parts and pieces that resonate with the primary piece of wood.  This is a process that can send me looking for the "right" branch or piece of wood for as long as an hour !  While this is perhaps an extravagant use of time for one small piece of wood, it is what makes the harmonious and beautiful end result.
I am going to picture here some of the last few houses that display this wonderful character.
This lovely little lodge has the natural openings in the wood that I make into doors.

 Usually the grain is pretty around these  natural openings, giving the wood great character. Without fail, the wood that is the prettiest wood, the most interesting, is the wood that has "struggled" in some way, was bent by the snow, had limbs broken off, had to overcome an insect invasion or many of the other things trees face in life.  These things make a tree with "character" . I always think this is not unlike people.

 This beautiful and unusual house, an "apartment" to be exact, is something I rarely make. This is for two reasons...first, it is not too often I find a piece of wood suitable for it, and two, it is difficult to engineer and make. This one was particularly pretty I thought, in the wood grain and it was also quite large.

 This striking house shows the use of a natural "scar" in a tree, where a limb once was and where the tree healed itself over.  This kind of scar is perfect to make a "closed door" out of and in the beginning I made them into "The Gnome is not Home " houses.  They simpley required a roof! Now days I usually hollow them out and make an open door in the back for play.  Note that under the roof overhang there is a second "closed door"( a utility closet perhaps?!) making the house extra rare!

This lovely house is a unique design I came up with that many people like. The wood is nice and light and the roof supports a nice contrast. The thick and shaped roof is made from Sugar Pine, a fine grained wood that smells wonderful and is hard to find.  I am able to get this from a local person with a saw mill. The nice knot hole over the door is where a small limb was.

I think we have all been fortunate that I have had such nice finds in the wood for the last copule months, it is a real joy to work with these finds.

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