|Project by mmh||posted 04-02-2015 06:10 AM||1741 views||3 times favorited||6 comments|
A gentleman requested a custom ergonomic cane made with a highly figured Claro Black Walnut crotch cross grain that is one of my favorite woods. As noted, this grain is from the crotch section of the tree where the grains merge and create some of the most beautiful feathered sun-ray pattern in wood. Black Walnut is one of the classics of wood working and it’s a wonderful wood to work with as the grain can be fine and take to hand tools quite nicely. I use both hand and power tools, as I enjoy manipulating the wood with a hand held tool, but the constant usage can also wear out the body, so I use power tools to do the initial shaping and graduate to hand tools for the finished product.
The serenity acquired while using hand tools is very Zen as you can actually hear yourself think without the blaring noise of machinery. The pace of work is also different as you are moving in a rhythm with the wood and your body, alike a dance and your partner is wood. Another advantage of using hand tools is that they do not need to be plugged in and if there is a power outage and you have daylight or candlelight, you can still work. The swish of a rasp is so much more gentle to the ears and mind than an electric sander, alas, the time saved by power tools can over ride the serene dance, so one needs to take or make a consideration here.
The handle is a more elegant style than some of my larger pieces, but I felt that the client wanted a unique piece that would give a feel of fine furniture or wearable art. The curves are simple but they are very different than what you see at the drugstore cane rack. The journey of creativity is always interesting when you are enjoying your craft and I try to have has much fun as possible while making sawdust. The collar is made of Gabon Ebony and the shaft of Sapele which also has a nice chatoyance to accent the sun-rays of the Black Walnut.
-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe