LumberJocks

Interesting wood and furniture I saw in Europe

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Blog entry by JohnMcClure posted 03-18-2018 11:02 PM 589 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I visited Spain and Ireland last week, and noticed a few cool pieces of furniture. I didn’t photograph it, but I saw an antique table with a top that was about 6’ long by 24” wide, all one hardwood piece… And a lot of other older pieces with exceptionally wide panels.

My favorite furniture were these very artistic chairs, in which the structural members are mostly clear, but the noticeable portions are highly figured:

I believe it was a set of 4 chairs in a sitting room. I asked about their origin and was told an artist used to live here.

I noticed many, many trees that had been pollarded. https://midwestpermaculture.com/2012/11/coppicingpollarding/
They looked strange to me. It’s possible that pollarded trees make for great burls and figured logs, though. (I didn’t photograph any.) Anyway my thought is the maker of those chairs was using lumber from trees that were figured from centuries of pruning.

In the same castle, and probably made from the same trees, I saw this awesome pair of bookmatched coffee tables – they were kept side by side as one large table.
Oh, the width! That’s a 4-year-old, if it gives you a better sense of scale.

They also had a set of end tables with this wedged through tenon. I like the look:

Here’s a stool I saw at a hotel bar in spain, thought it was pretty cool with the reverse-tapered square legs. I suppose the two-piece seat is to keep the back portion strong (long-grain loaded)...

Here’s a very, very old stump. It’s young compared to the nearby stones: it’s at the Grange Stone Circle near Limerick, Ireland – which is about 4500 years old. I’d have loved to be the recipient of the tree that grew from that stump…

I really wanted to find some bog oak. But I learned enough about it while there to discover that lots of wood is pulled out of the bog and piled up as waste material. But the wood is thousands of years old, and has been perfectly preserved in the peat bog for thousands of years! So I’ll continue trying to obtain some, maybe on the Irish version of Craigslist.
The only wood I brought home was a small chunk of firewood from Blackwater Castle. We attended a wedding there, and I hope to make a gift for the couple that incorporates this wood. Once I mill it, I’ll post for some ID help.

This last one is not woodworking, but I climbed to the top of the tower of Blackwater Castle, near Cork, on this spiral staircase. It was built in the 1200s or so. But on the way down, I realized the incredible precision with which this was made. The point of each wedge-shaped stone step lines up in a beautiful straight line. I wonder if some midieval craftsman set up a plumb-bob and made sure each stone just barely kissed the string…

-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail



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