Texas Treasures in a BackYard’
Let me start out by saying that I have been slow in getting this blog story going, since the ‘golden oldie’ days of much snow, have once again returned to New England and NH. What that means for me, is that I have been spending days at a time during the weeks of December, January, February and now into March plowing, shoveling and moving snow. In December we started breaking records for snowfall and the first to fall was a long standing record set in 1876. And so this is my early morning greeting that was awaiting me, as I opened my front door this morning and step out on the front porch here….
....plus some pine wood, covered with a snow finish to compete as free-form ‘wood art’....
So after moving snow, I still keep a cabin renovation moving forward, make furniture and ‘wood art’....
....paint my kitchen along with my wife, do maintenance on the vehicles around here, (yes, I spent Saturday and Sunday morning working on my plow trucks transmission and getting it back on the road) and then there are the shows I must get ready for, plus….splitting firewood and keeping the wood stoves around here, happy and well feed….etc. And yes it is true….moving feet and busy hands are the character of a happy heart!
Some time ago I received an email from RobS where he mentioned that if I would supply him with my mailing address, he had some old and new calendars of old barns that he would be glad to forward on to me. Now if you’ve been reading any-thing much of all about me in my blogs, then you’ll by now know that one of my many favorite loves….is the love of old barns. What is an old barn….well for us in New England here that would be the first one to arrive with the early settlers of the region, the English Barn. And so having worked on these and having one myself that we took down, moved and put back up….all I can say is I love old barns.
And so the day arrived here some weeks ago….well that’s back around the first of February, when opening my door I noticed a package….hmmmm, I guess I should say box sitting on the porch. Thinking this was some-thing for my wife I was surprised when I looked and saw my name there and Rob’s return address. Actually I thought that there must be quite a load of calendars inside and so….
....upon opening the box, you can imagine my surprise to see wood stuffed within the container….
First of all let me say that of the two calendars inside, one is current and I’m even now looking at it on my wall in the office. Lets see, March 2008 and there on the page is a photo of ‘Historic Beckworth Ranch, Near Westcliffe, Colorado’. After emptying the contents of the box, I counted my treasure of 2 calendars and 7 pieces of wood….
....so this blog story is now starting out with what I call, ’Texas Treasures in a Backyard’. I then proceeded to write to Rob and thank him for all the wood he had sent me, along with the calendars and he proceeded to let me know that if I had any questions regarding the wood, he would be happy to answer my inquires. So I asked of the wood species and history of the wood, that he had found and saved….which in turn was now passed on to the northern climates of New England. Now there’s a thought to ponder….I wonder what the wood thinks about waking up in the cold and snow of NH?
So after getting his feedback, I started and was able to start putting together some stories and photos of the wood, which will in turn be passed along occasionally as I make use of these pieces. Six of the wood pieces are Oasage Orange with number seven being Eastern Red Cedar and for which Rob had this to say; ”I remember you once pined for some Texas Juniper, so I wanted to make sure and get some into the box.”
I am going to start this story by talking about #2, and so that you can follow in this blog and future blogs, just remember that the numbering starts on the left and proceeds to the right. Number 2 there is some Osage Orange that has aged some and so it is quite hard and full of much orange in the color of the wood.
Now to quote Rob; ”1 and 2 are of the same aging or weathering if you will…. They were both dead for a long long time, Osage Orange, as it ages turns harder and harder and turns that dark orange. As I find these old pieces I tend to keep them, particularly ones with some character or uniqueness. Number 2 is probably my first “keeper” since moving into this house 14 years ago. I found it and always thought I could do something with the knot/hole thicker part. A handle of some sort perhaps. Not ever sure what and waiting for it to speak to me, I could never really part with it. I thought you, with your vision and inspiration, could provide the future it deserves.” WOW, I must say that as I read between the lines of what Rob wrote above….I am thank-full to have met an-other who also likes old wood and then also wants to pass on wood that has beauty….
....so I started the de-barking process on number two and was pleasantly surprised by what I saw under that old and weathered bark. I have been spending some time now….actually some hours all-ready on this one with gouges and sandpaper, just cleaning the wood up some-what. Sandpaper so far has been #80 and #120, with more to follow. I did post a previous photo of this one in different blogs all-ready but will post this one more time with more to follow as the process of making ‘wood art’ continues….
Let me close in saying….thank you Rob!
And yes, I’m still dreaming ahead, with a blast from the past….
”....work smart, work safe, and live, to work the wood….”
-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/