The day started simply enough; I was working on a computer desk I was building for my Mom and having trouble deciding how to place the hutch on the desktop. I’m only a novice at furniture so every detail is an exploration in how I understand the plans I designed. See a fundamental problem there ? Blind leading the blind, comes to mind. I had this gorgeous birch plywood I wanted to use for the desktop; it’s patterning in the grain was so sweet that I had simply looked at it for weeks before attempting to do anything to it for fear of disfiguring it.
I had finally decided on the layout since I was using three 24×24 inch panels separated by 2 inch strips of red oak and the pattern on the future desktop flowed like a river across the expanse. I loved it. I could look at it like a work of art by a truly grand master. I lovingly sanded it to a silky finish; I cringed the day I cut 6.5 inches off the end pieces; anxiously sanded out the leftover pencil marks; nervously stained it with a single coat of maple; let it dry a full week. I have yet to seal it.
Today, my hubby, who has a talent for mechanical that annoys me ( no one should be able to simply pick up a tool and instinctively know how it works.. huffs enviously ) joined me at the desk. I explained to him my problem; how to center the hutch directly over the desk cabinets so the weight would be over the legs, not simply on the unsupported portions of the plywood desktop. He regarded it, picked up the tape measure, took a few measures, then reached for a pencil.
I shrieked ! NO,NO,NOooooo…you can’t DO that !! Don’t you dare put a pencilmark on that wood !
He looked at me like I’d just lost a few more marbles. I had to explain how it was only plywood; how I’d sanded carefully for 30 minutes just to erase the marks I’d left from the trimming. It couldn’t take a lot of sanding; I was certain. In the end,he placed some pieces of painter’s tape on the wood and carefully marked on it, instead of my precious birch.
Something has changed; something in me is different. Rulers, pencils, saws, and hammers just naturally go together in my mind. That I would freak at the idea of a pencil mark on a piece of wood amazed me, later.
I look at wood differently now. It’s not just a board…it’s a creation waiting to be born.
-- I'm so busy I don't know if I found a rope or lost a horse...