A lot of my wood art comes from working on a project such as logging, restoring an old English Barn, working on an old Cape Farm House, cabinet and furniture making, so there is always a need to grab a piece of wood ‘close at hand’ for splicing or shimming. In so doing my attention is drawn to the ‘piece in hand’ and this is the story of how Noah’s Ark came into view.
While working on a room renovation one day I found myself needing some shims for a stud system I was putting in so I could install some old hand cut feather boards on a wall. Ha, never the one to look far, I glanced at the firewood box and saw this piece of cut maple branch waiting to become lunch for the wood stove. After cutting a piece of the wood on my table saw for some shims, I glanced over at what remained and was immediately rewarded with this sight.
This is an excellent example of ‘spalted maple wood’, while at the same time the real prize comes from being able to see what lies within, all in a moments glance. This is where my joy comes from working with wood, taking a tree down and using all the wood right down to a small piece that now sits at rest on my desk.
Whenever I am doing a show of my rustic furniture and wood art, this is a piece that always draws attention and gets many comments. I am always asking people how good is your imagination and how much can you see? The test and the answer is all found within this piece of wood, so test yourself! How many animals do you see in this picture of wood?
The animals to be seen within this piece of wood are unlimited if your mind is unlimited and this is how I arrived at the naming of this piece as Noah’s Ark. I have found that children do the best on this test and the answer to the above question is only limited by your refusing to let your mind go! Children have not yet been fully trained in the art of seeing only according to the rules of being adults and therefore their minds run free in the playgrounds of imagination. Is it not sad that as we grow older we learn to play by the rules of those older then us who have decided how life should be, as defined by living in a box?
May my imagination never die and may my seeing always be found as one who has decided to live life in it’s fullest ‘outside the box’. By letting my imagination run free I have released my mind to dream and in my dreams is found a wanting to live just as I am. When coming upon one who has stopped dreaming, I often look at their feet only to see that their feet have stopped moving and therein is found the shell of one already dead. Release the shell of death by starting to dream again and watch those feet start moving.