Tabitha Cum....a descriptive journey
—-and so you made your incision in metre,
out there in the octaves of wooded living space,
you waited till one such as i came walking by,
and in your patience of never losing hope,
....” i stopped and said, little girl arise….”
—-your patience was in the ages of eons,
where golden haired angels of filamentous wispy inspired desire,
cater to the one’s of us who walk with eyes in the sky,
never having a reason beyond the one you gave,
....” i stopped and saw, a living gazelle….”
—-tis now the time of your appearing as going out,
when with maple and walnut you merged in oneness,
greyness of morning dawn i saw the likes of all your good,
as doing a dance of beechly richness,
….” i stopped and knew, grace-beauty-gentleness….you are!”
....tis the time for telling a story of the lives that have been linked to-gether from one who goes waundering around the woods. Trees tell stories of what they have seen and how they have lived, as time for them passes the many generations right before their eyes. And so it is into their story….this story, one of many, that I one day walked.
This is the short version story, (please note the long version has no-ending and continues on after my passing through these woods) of one called “Tabitha Cum”, ....’little girl arise’, Hebrew and Aramaic words of great things to come for a Lady such as this….
....time passes and so before you or I ever arrived on this planet of terra we call earth, a seed, many seeds were cast forth from the lofty heights of other trees. These are the ones I call the ‘ancient ones’....and so they sowed their seeds in the heartland of New Hampshire woods, four seeds in particular; one for maple….one for walnut….one for beech and one for oak.
....and as the seeds grow, many pass before their view, as they stretch their limbs and climb toward heaven….
....stout and sturdy are the trees of beauty….
....and even so the story continues, as I pass your way….
Now one must understand that in my writing there are those times, when I unstrap my feet from boot leather and soar the heavens where dreams are made, before re-turning to terra and hobbling around in boot leather. Poetry flies on the wings of imagination and runs freely from the depth of my inside, while yet there are times when I must show some description of the work I do. Description can be hard for me, since this entails my work of what goes on in ‘the process’. I also do the work of a small time farmer, logger, finish and cabinet maker, house and barn renovator and then there is ‘wood art’. When I enter into ‘the process’ of creating ‘wood art’, there are no-designs laid out on paper….and what I see is all in my head, and even what I saw at the start can change many times as ‘the process’ goes on. As you will note in this story, the leg design changed four times as I worked….till I saw the piece of beech and then all fell into place. I long ago learned to be adjustable and still work ‘the process’ while also being able to change all in a moment of seeing….one nights sleep can be a change when I walk into my shop the next day. One of my hardest things to do or remember, is to take photo’s of the work in progress as once in ‘the process’, I also be-come part of the progress. I can walk into my shop, in the morning while in process and never know where the day went at evening time….sometimes this will go on for days as those days be-come weeks. What I am trying to say is this act of describing ‘the process’ is not an easy one for me, but if you like, well come and sit inside my head and look through my eyes as the work un-folds….
....the slab leg is maple such as this….
....which I then cut to length and split in half with a chainsaw…..time passes over the years, about four for this one, till drying and curing have worked their own way of developing character. And then comes the day when the wood speaks and says; “lets make ‘wood art’....”
....maple is indeed one of my favorite woods to work with….
....next I will take the chunk of wood to the planer and start running through many times….
....till I get enough of a ‘flat’ space and then I will flip the wood over and start planing again. One might ask what thickness am I going for and to that I would answer, this is not so much about the thickness of the slab as it is about seeing a story of character written in the wood….
....slender or thick….half empty or half full, it’s all in your point of view….
....now come inside and lets pass some time in working some wood. I found a piece of old used walnut sitting around, from a past project and started re-cutting and shaping before sending this one also to the planner. Next comes the work of getting started on it’s underside to form the half lap….remember now, I also do use power tools….and so it’s just as easy to cut those slices with my porter cable trim saw rather then setting up router or table saw….
....fast work indeed, as I also take and chisel out the area of excess….
....next comes a little touch and go with #80 grit sandpaper….looks good to me. how are you enjoying the view from inside my head….
....having all-ready worked the maple out by forstner bit, mallet and chisel, I now have two pieces that are ready to go. Yes, if you are wondering how we got to my front porch,well remember I also said that I am a small time farmer and so I took this photo on a Sunday morning, where I was working the front porch area also selling jams and berries to the many who come and pick….also makes for good conversation as many pass the time of day….
....notice in the lower right hand corner of the maple slab, a chainsaw mark from when this piece of wood was cut….my specialty signature….I all-ways try and leave a mark that shows where or how the piece came into being….also notice the trellis assembly that my wife brought home for me to assemble for a grape arbor we are doing….and as she so often tells me, “your my hero, you can do any-thing”....
....next we go back inside the barn and start doing some test fits….notice the piece of wood there for a leg, well this is the second leg design I thought to do. First design was using the two same slabs of maple, but the piece of walnut said “no”....so here we are trying on some oak. The problem with the oak was that it would need some epoxy to fill in an area around one of the smaller legs and since this was about ‘no-metal’ ‘no-glue’ and ‘no- mechanical fasteners’ except wood, well time to go looking again….
....time to start cutting those oak tree nails, first through the bandsaw and then I follow up knife and rasp….
....no trial fit here as I hammer home….
....one more view so all looks tightly fit….
....an-other shot of wood nails all in place….four into the walnut top and three into the maple slab….
....most of the weight of the top I was able to shift into the bearing of the maple slab, while doing a slight tilt at the base. Therefore I was able to shift much weight back and so I next proceeded to hand chisel into the beech wood. This piece of beech branch I had been saving for about two years and while walking throughout the barn….I again saw her and knew this was the ‘one’....”Tabitha Cum”....
....and then hammer in two more tree nails….
....finish is tung oil, de-waxed shellac and ‘garnett’ shellac….followed up with #0000 steel wool…..
I truly hope all have enjoyed the journey today and so I will leave you with these parting shots….
....no—need for words….
....as words interrupt the flow….
....all points lead home….
....step back and watch the feeling of wood flow….
....and in the silence, there is sound of thunder….
....as you “Tabitha Cum” awaken and start your dance of life before my eyes….
...’little girl arise’ for this your time has sprung forth and so you care not for what has been as now you dance of what ‘just is’....
You may also read my posting on this project here at: Tabitha Cum
”….my time had not been lost in vain, since upon your passing this way, i was enabled to share a part of my likness, this is my art, that enhances the surroundings of many like minded like me, who caring not for easy ground….have taken a path that the waunder’s of old much understood….having a place of no-place to lay my head, even so i continue my journey in this thing i call ‘wood art’....”
-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/