"Journeys into the Joints of Joineries" by RusticWoodArt #2: "My Ghost of a Past"

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Blog entry by frank posted 06-10-2007 06:11 PM 933 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: "Wood Joinery" Part 2 of "Journeys into the Joints of Joineries" by RusticWoodArt series no next part

My Ghost of a Past
....and so yes, for any and all that have been reading here and are waiting for more on the series “Journeys into the Joints of Wood Joineries” ....these articles, will be forthcoming from time to time. I am thinking of how to approach this subject, however I am no expert and not much of a technical writer and really dis-like writing on subjects that press me into the thinking confines of a box….

There was a time when I thought and lived in a box, I received all my information also from those who like me lived within a box. Teacher’s teach, experts give their point of view and….children knowing know better, listen and question until their questions irk the teacher’s, who knowing ‘how it should be done’ make it clear that they know how it should be done, so stop questioning me and you will learn how to do it my way, which is the right way. Children then go on to becoming students, who in order to pass with minimal difficulties in life, in order to succeed, learn to keep their questions to themselves or go on to become the artist’s and scientist’s of tomorrow’s dreams. We are much in this way a society that produces clones and if you ever think that you exempt from this arena of clone making, go and talk with those who you have put on your ‘list’ as thinking different then I. The geography of our earth separates us, our cultures separate us, our politics separate, our religions separate, our schools and colleges of higher learning separate, our catagories of work separate, our thinking separates, what we see as good and bad separates….and on and on it goes, the food we eat separates us, how we dress in our clothing separates us, the books we read separate us, our different newspapers separate us, our time zones separate us….and again on and on,till we come even to what we love. Here at Lumberjocks we are woodworker’s who are ‘workers of wood’ and this we love….like doing, this is our passion, and yet we also can become so embroiled in a certain way of working the wood—-hand tooling vs machine tooling; a certain species or type of wood—-softwood vs hardwood; the names that separate—-traditional vs non-traditional vs contemporary; and more names—-hobbyist, novice, apprentice, master, craftsman and artist separate us, and our technicals of technique by what we build separate us—-wood furniture, wood art, wood houses, wood jigs….and all the ‘wood this’ and ‘wood that’.

....pardon me if I have rambled off my tree trunk of ‘wood joinery’ into the areas of branch wood here, but as I have said before, thats what happens when one finally walks out of their box of confinement into the open spaces of living outside of the box….

And so even in the area of ‘wood joinery’ we have the distinction of also being more then able to separate….and this is a good thing to know, since by knowing and understanding separation in the wood, we can then go on and build with the wisdom of how to use that ‘separation’ of the wood to our benefit and the glory of the object of wood that we are creating! Wood joints and wood joinery need not be something that separates us, and this is surely not some ‘ghost of the past’, who comes to haunt us and tell us that what was done back there in the land of then, can be done better in the land of now. I sometimes to relax my mind, will read of the (miya daiku) temple shrine carpenters of Japan who worked and constructed those temples and then lived to maintain them, keeping the secrets of ‘wood joinery’ within their families and so passing the trade secrets on from generation to generation. And then I read of how during WWII these same carpenters were made to give up their love of temple maintenance and pressed into the building of coffins by their own government. Can one not wonder of how one feels when after giving their life to the ‘wood joinery’ of their temples, they are now using their knowledge of joinery to make coffins, again separation, life and death. But then I also read for relaxation how in the Old Testament we have the hewers of wood who in the construction of Solomons Temple, constructed all off site and then brought to the site and raised a temple where there was no sound of hammers used on site….again amazing ‘wood joinery’.

Some will say that ‘wood joinery’ is a skill, some call it a technique and some will call it art, while I’m sure some will call it a waste of time and garbage, since that’s why we now have nails, screws and glues. And I am not putting these ways of working the wood down either, since I also use nails, screws and glues….just as I also have wooden mallets, steel hammers and a brad air nailer, a finish air nailer and a framing air gun….just as I would prefer too do all my woodworking by hand using hand tools, I also know that for speed and money in working with some customers, I also need to use machines, planer, jointer, table saws, band saw and all the many others. I love doing woodworking by hand, but I also understand that when a machine can do it faster….sometimes it is in my financial interest to do the work with a machine. So the truth is, I’m not rich enough to all-ways be able and do it ‘my way’, and should the day ever come when I can decide to do it only ‘my way’, that will be the day I will give all my machines away and do it ‘my way’ by hand using only hand tools. Sometimes I also wonder if I was not born to late in time, but then my passion maybe comes from remembering having lived a past life in an earlier time….

Well having said all that, lets move on to some links about ‘wood joinery’....

Furniture maker Kintaro Yazawa
Yazawa’s Work
Antique Chinese Furniture Of Ming And Qing Dynasty 'wood joinery'
Chinese Hardwood Furniture
of the Ming and Early Qing Dynasties

....and if any are reading and want to add your own links or comments, feel free!
Thank you.

”....happy and full of joy are the worker’s of wood, who after understanding ‘wood joinery’ in movement, can then go on to select their own form, of how to interpret that concept into the what of wood they are creating….”

-- --frank, NH,

1 comment so far

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4911 posts in 3456 days

#1 posted 06-10-2007 09:00 PM

Yes, those links are impressive. I’ve long admired Yazawa's work. Really amazing things and everytime you think you are creating something great, just look at this stuff to keep your feet on the earth. Thanks, frank!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

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