|Project by Chris Mobley||posted 03-12-2013 02:06 PM||1407 views||0 times favorited||6 comments|
Creating custom intarsia woodworking often finds its best design from a story. One stormy day in April, not very different from any other day, tragedy struck in Alabama. My father was out for the morning working as usual. He decided to come home early because there were some reports that bad weather was coming. He could not have gotten home at any better of a time. As he pulled into the driveway, he had just enough time to find his wife, grab a few neighbors, and get into the panic room inside his workshop. Now this room was only built for a few, however, he provided refuge for as many people who could fit including a neighborhood dog.
It only lasted a few moments, but when the chaos was over it was time to leave their shelter and survey the damage. What they saw when they emerged from this tiny room was unimaginable. My father’s home was one of the only still standing in the entire neighborhood. The home had extensive damage, but was still there. The neighbors on both sides lost most everything to the storm. Prior to the tornado, there was a tree farm located directly behind the neighborhood that was the home to some enormous and beautiful pine trees. These were all gone now; they were sucked right out of the ground and broken like toothpicks. The devastation was overwhelming. The search for family, friends, neighbors, loved ones, and pets had begun.
My father and his wife aided in this search and helped as many people as they could. People began to bring food and water for the survivors while rescue parties dug through the rubble of what was once a beautiful community. Even though there was no water, electricity, or telephones, my father and his wife decided to stay in what was left of their home to protect what they had left. Looters drove the streets of the neighborhood preying on those affected by this tragedy. The military sent soldiers in military vehicles to help prevent the looters from taking what they wanted, but it wasn’t enough. A week went by and there was still no electricity or water. The cleanup was well under way and people from all over had come to aid.
About a month after the storms, my wife, kids, and I went to visit. By this time, things had started to calm down and the healing process had begun. I can honestly say I was not ready for what I saw. Even after a month had passed and the sight was nowhere near as horrifying as it had been, I still could not wrap my head around the devastation. The stories that were told of those few days were unbelievable. We just drove around in awe of what had happened. The tornado that hit Alabama and many other states on April 25th through April 28th, 2011 have gone on record as some of the most deadly and costly tornado outbreaks in U.S. history.
After we returned home to Texas from our visit, I was going through old photographs and found one of my father’s home right after it was built. I decided to build him a custom intarsia woodworking picture of his home completely out of wood. I knew this gesture would mean a lot to him. This picture is composed of many very small pieces. This is one of my first true attempts at creating a 3D effect. The balcony and front porch stand out from the picture while the sides of the home are more sunken in. This gives depth to the image. As soon as I finished it, I got it packaged up and sent as quickly as I could. Just a day later I received a phone call from my father. He was overjoyed with what I had completed for him. It now hangs in his newly redone entry way. It has almost been two years since this storm outbreak, and my thoughts and prayers still go out to the victims.
-- Chris Mobley - http://www.cmobleydesigns.com