|Project by Mark A. DeCou||posted 04-12-2009 04:28 AM||3280 views||0 times favorited||9 comments|
this piece is not for sale.
Dimensions and Specs:
- Length: 27 inches
- Width: 14 inches
- Height: 6 inches
- Wood: Kansas Flint Hills Black Walnut
- Base: Salvaged Kansas Cedar Tree
If you like this sort of project, I have another one, Click here to see it
Almost three years ago, a neighbor came up to me after the kids finished their Vacation Bible School final night program presentation.
”Do you ever needs trees?” he asked me.
”Yes, all the time, why?” I replied.
”I have some walnut trees I cut down,” he went on.
”I’d love them, but I don’t have any money to pay for anything right now,” I responded.
”I’m going to just give you one of them if you think you can use it,” he went on.
So, back in December of 2008 while the economy was falling fast, I finally had a scheduled date at the lumbermill to have the logs cut up, 5 of them total, one really big one, the others were smaller.
I had only expected one log, but ended up with five.
His daughter told me the reason for the extra logs.
About a year ago, the guy had a battle with some cancer and recovered. Then, this past summer, he was having some more problems, this time a blocked cartoid artery in his neck. His doctor scheduled an operation to open up the blocked artery.
He was, understandably, a little nervous about not making it through the operation, so two days before he went into the hospital he took his tractor and headed out for the pastures to round up the logs. And, the temperature that day was close to 100 degrees.
When his daughter, and the rest of the family, confronted him about his planned activities, two days before his operation, he told them, ”I have to get those logs rounded up for Mark and over to the Lumbermill….if something happens to me in surgery, nobody will know where to find those logs….”
And he did go get them that day, and hauled them to the lumbermill for me. And then, he survived the operation also. Thank God!
It is neighbors like that which give me warm fuzzy feelings all over. I’ve lived around mostly nice people most of my life, but these Kansas Flint Hills are filled with the nicest folks you’d ever want to meet. They don’t just wave from across the yard as they drive into their garage at night, but they really like to help with whatever a guy needs help with, including finding wood, or antlers, walking stick saplings, and on and on.
So, I know it is not enough of a payback, this sculpture piece, but I made him this Freeform Sculpture piece out of one of the “outside slabs” that normally gets tossed into the lumbermill owner’s wood stove.
I took home almost every scrap of those walnut trees after they were cut up into slabs and planks, and other big sections. I will use the sawn wood for some Nakashima-Inspired pieces, and mantels one of these days. I can’t hardly wait until they are all dry, and ready to use.
The twisted cedar log piece I used for the base, loops into a neat little “S” shape and fits under the bowl form to hold it up nice and steady and provide a colorful frame for the walnut vessel. I found the Cedar Log, just a small section, that had floated down a rain wash gully ditch in a pasture in my area.
I saw it from the bank, while on a nature walk with the kids, keeping an eye out for Deer Shed Antlers. After spotting the twisted log piece, I climbed down into the ravine to dig it out, knowing I would find a way to use it.
I had to chase out an Ant nest, and a big wood boring bee, but then it was all mine.
And soon, it will be all his.
I’ll surprise my neighbor with the return gift in a couple of weeks, after I show this Vessel at an art show next weekend.
thanks for reading,
-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com