Thursday, February 17, 2011

Yes I Wood

After posting a photo of my Osage Orange pendant on Flickr last week, and waxing nostalgic about the wood, I jokingly said that I should do a blog post about my love of Osage.  The more I thought about it, the more I thought, why not?  So here's where I prattle on about my love of wood in general.  Bear with me. 

I really love working with wood.  And while I'm no expert yet, I love that I can haul something out of the woods and make something of it.  I love working in the dusty barn with the hum of the sander in my ears.  I love the smoothness of the wood, the smell, the versatility.  I love that if a piece doesn't turn out, I can use it to heat my home.  I am nothing if not practical.  Of course I don't love how much it beats up my hands, but it's just part of it.

I've been working with a few different woods lately; walnut and osage orange that I brought back from Illinois, poplar, birch, and oak from our woods, and teak that I reclaimed.  Reclaimed? you ask.  Why yes, reclaimed...from a vintage teak bowl.  When I cut it, it smelled like potpourri!

I love seeing the differences in grain and color.  In the photo below you see what the red oak looks like once it has a little bit of tung oil on it, compared to a non-oiled piece.

Below, you can see from left to right, osage orange, teak, black walnut, and red oak after they've been sanded and oiled.  The osage has a pronounced yellow color that's really cool.  The teak is a warm, even brown.  The walnut varies from light to dark brown.  Red oak has a warm golden brown color.

This is osage compared to red oak.

If you look really closely at this piece of oak in my hand you'll see a tiny shooting star.  Can you see it?

Combining wood and wool has been really satisfying for me.  I love the contrast of smooth and soft, hard and tactile.  It really speaks to me so you can probably expect to see more of this in my work in the future.

So tell me, what materials speak to you?


Unknown said...

love your work!

My loves are stone, metals, (silver, brass, copper) and leather. I have always been attracted to woods, and want to incorporate them in my work, but have yet to do so! probably why I love your blog. I get to see the unique things you do with wood!

kathleen xx

lynn bowes said...

Oooooooo . . . power tools . . . (Homer Simpson drooling noises)

Isn't it interesting what you can coax out of a little block of wood? Emphasis on YOU!

Tara said...

The different colours and grains that you are able to bring out in the different types of woods are quite beautiful. In that last picture, is that flower design etched or burnt into the wood? Recently, the material and ingredients for soap making are speaking to me. I've actually become quite obsessed about the whole thing and can't stop thinking about the different combinations I could make.

Terriea Kwong said...

First I love ceramics, then wool, following is fabric. When I visited your blog I love wood and your work inspired me that wood and wool combo are great. I joined Rikkianne Van Kirk's Sentimental Idle Giveaway mentioned that I was just inspired by your wood creation with wool and I made some brooches with the 2 medium. How wonderful I won the antique lace prints. Thanks indeed for your inspiration. Your wood works are awesome. I can smell the wood fragance.

Tumus said...

Good cotton and flannels. As I've been sewing and quilting my tastes have divided amongst the fabric world.
And then there's butter, sugar, flour and eggs :)

leah - moxiethrift on etsy said...

i totally love this post! the power tools are awesome and teak wood bowl cut is awesome. love your work.

oh, and materials that speak to me? always and forever paper. of all sorts and textures and colors.

Scrapiana said...

What beautiful woods, Lisa. I love the effect oiling has. Right now for me it's home-fulled wool: the strange and wonderful things that happen to different types and blends of woolen garment when you put them through a wash. And deciding what they need to become next. I have a load of purple wools in my machine now...

I also love mother-of-pearl buttons, even the ones that are supposedly ruined and have lost their nacre.

Amanda Pedro said...

wow! those are really cool. I have a bit of woodworking in mind for the summer. Just a fleeting thought. but I know it will come to be. And you're just the inspiration I'll need.
thanks for sharing

Margie Oomen said...

natural dyes and fibers are definitely speaking a very colorful language to me right now. I would really love to dye some of wooden nuggets if you are interested in a little collaboration.

Lori said...

I love your wood / wool pieces.

I have literally dreamed of having a woodworking shop, although I haven't had a chance to do any woodworking since 8th grade (sometime when dinosaurs were a recent memory).

My favorite materials are natural wools (the "woolier" the better) and cottons/linen/hemp for knitting or sewing.

ZenCrafter said...

The simple beauty of these lovingly smoothed pieces of wood speak directly to my heart. Thank you for sharing your process.

Wool felted around stones still slows my pulse and inspires me; and I dream of armies of tiny, colorful stitches marching like ants in a spiral around the felted stones.

Stitching At Stone Cottage said...

hi, i came to your blog via t does wool...and am loving what you create..after looking at your woodwork i you make wooden buttons??

Anonymous said...

Absolutely fabulous!
Oh I can imagine that the wood smells lovely!

My materials? hmm the ancient ones ;)

Brittany | the Home Ground said...

I realize that I am about 10 years late to this post, and I'm sorry. I've had it open ever since I got the email... Anyway, I love your thoughts on wood. I'm reminded of my woodworking class last year. Turning those bowls was such a rewarding experience. Especially because, like you, my dad and I gathered the wood right out of our own woods.

I love seeing the whole process of your work. Branch to chunk of wood to shape to art. I also really enjoy what you're doing with wood and wool. I think they are two mediums that are absolutely meant for each other.

Nanou said...

Oh Lisa, you know how this post speaks to me, thank you :))) My forest friends can't believe their eyes to see all your leading-edge technology tools, they're quivering with pleasure imagining your skillful body care !

My favorite materials are paper (I collect them for more than 20 years from all over the world) and wood, of course ! You understand why tree are my best friends in the natural world and why I can't help winking at them and stroking them gratefully :)

Big hugs to you, my gifted and amazing friend ! (Hope your finger doesn't hurt too much)

lynda Howells said...

l LOVE wood and love this blog thanks. but l also love paper,buttons and oh so much more!xxlynda


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