New Use of Old Wood

December 31, 2012

“When trees mature, it is fair and moral that they are cut for man’s use, as they would soon decay and return to the earth.  Trees have a yearning to live again, perhaps to provide the beauty, strength and utility to serve man, even to become an object of great artistic worth.”
— George Nakashima, The Soul of a Tree:  A Wood-worker’s Reflections

Handmade wooden bowl

Handmade wooden bowl

Bowl made from a red maple tree fallen on my family's farm

Bowl made from a red maple tree fallen on my family’s farm

“Ours is a search for pure truth in the most realistic ways — the making of things.”
— George Nakashima, The Soul of a Tree:  A Wood-worker’s Reflections

“There is a line from a Sexton poem: ‘The writer is essentially a crook./  Out of used furniture he makes a tree.’  . . . After all, that is what art should do; create something natural out of all the used-up sticks and bureaus of our lives, the detritus of our lives.”
— Maxine Kumin, To Make a Prairie

One of my most cherished Christmas gifts this year was this wooden bowl made from a fallen red maple tree on my Dad’s farm.  My sister and brother-in-law commissioned the bowl from a wood worker they knew.  It’s a wonderful keepsake from my childhood home, a one-of-a-kind work of art, new use for old wood.

Coincidentally, David Perry, one of the bloggers I follow, just wrote about handmade wooden plates made by a Vermont woodworker and friend.  Perry’s post is a love song to things analog, like the handmade wooden plates and bowl.  I can relate.


6 Responses to “New Use of Old Wood”

  1. Dear Rosemary, what a beautiful bowl, and what a beautiful condensation of thoughts. Your sis and her husband deserve big hugs for giving so very wisely. What a legacy to get to look at and live with, daily. Love being able to see it… Thank you!

  2. Sallyann Says:

    A beautiful bowl, made even more beautiful by the memories it holds for you. 🙂

  3. Sigrun Says:

    What a beautiful bowl! A piece of jewelry.

  4. sandy bessingpas Says:

    I love my bowl and all the memories that surface when I look at it-it was my most special gift this holiday season-thank you again Terry and Wil

  5. shoreacres Says:

    I have a few treasures made from wood felled or fallen on a place now sold and gone, but important nonetheless. Like your bowl, they hold memories even when empty.

    And as one who works with wood, you know I love those quotations!

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