A Simple Form for Complicated Wood

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Project by mot posted 06-23-2007 07:50 AM 3433 views 1 time favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Frank has me thinking about the journey we are taking through life. If you haven’t read his blog entries, read them. You may find something that pleases you. If you don’t, then take a deadblow hammer, hit yourself square in the forehead, and read them again.

I started thinking about the journey that this little piece of wood went through to make it into my shop in rural parkland Alberta. This little burl came from a tree harvested on Vancouver Island. It was harvested in 1998. The burl was cut into blanks, sealed with wax, and sold in pieces. It was purchased by a local turner in Nanaimo. He didn’t turn it and sold it to a friend of his who lives in Surrey, B.C. That friend was the father of my cousins girlfriend. My cousin came to visit the family homestead and I presented her with a present I had for her father, my dad’s youngest brother.

This can’t be told in a short story, so, sorry. My uncle was a flower child and a great Janice Joplin fan. I was able to procure an original concert poster of Ms. Joplin (shirtless for added affect) and saved it for almost 10 years for my uncle.

This little hunk of wood made it’s way to my shop as a thank you.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

16 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5589 days

#1 posted 06-23-2007 07:54 AM

It is a great little box with a great story. Thanks for sharing Tom.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1823 posts in 5578 days

#2 posted 06-23-2007 08:49 AM

Great story…very nice box. I’m not sure I want to see Janice shirtless.

-- Bob

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 5698 days

#3 posted 06-23-2007 11:52 AM

Hi Mot;
—-great start on the road to journeys of storytelling!

When we understand wood as living cellular, much like ourselves, then we can listen to the journey the wood had to make, to match up with our journey. Then if we care to interpret that story for others to read, we go on to make these awesome beauties of ‘wood art’. All that is written in wood, is very art-full in-deed.

A “Great Box of Wood Glory” there….and thanks for sharing this one with us. I’m really liking getting on here early in the morn and then seeing one of your pieces posted!

Thank you.

-- --frank, NH,

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5653 days

#4 posted 06-23-2007 01:05 PM

great journey. Thanks for sharing it with us!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 5803 days

#5 posted 06-23-2007 01:40 PM

You couldn’t have found a piece of wood in the back yard? LOL. That burl has traveled far and wide to end up on your lathe. That’s one lucky burl…just look at it! The circle is complete…you gave freely and it was given to you. Of course, its journey has ended, niether has yours.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 5669 days

#6 posted 06-23-2007 02:32 PM

Nice, story (anything from B.C. has to be good – LOL). Love the form, Tom, and love the wood.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 5514 days

#7 posted 06-23-2007 02:45 PM

ExtemeLy nice keepsake Mot.
One of the beauties of making a small figured box like that is the story it can tell to others.
It is highly likely that this little box could endure several centuries because it was lifted up from the ordinary by a woodturner.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 5528 days

#8 posted 06-23-2007 04:51 PM

Thanks for sharing my journey to become a woodturner. With handcut joinery, and I know I’ll get a bit of debate here, but I believe it’s 50% tool, 40% skill and 10% practice. This does not carry over to turning. I believe it’s 10% tool, 25% skill and 65% practice. As I like to grab my hand tools and do a practice joint a day, I’ve decided that my lathe needs to spin everyday. Thanks for the kind comments.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Karson's profile


35300 posts in 5892 days

#9 posted 06-23-2007 04:59 PM

Tom. Great story. Lots of hands have handled that little piece of wood before it got to you. and now in its final shape, many more hands, and eyes will look and feel the beauty of it’s captured soul.

Great job.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View TreeBones's profile


1828 posts in 5515 days

#10 posted 06-23-2007 06:19 PM

I’m sure if I looked at that beautiful piece of wood long enough I could find where you brought the story to life. I probably need to see it in person though. Love that stuff.

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5569 days

#11 posted 06-23-2007 06:52 PM

wow…I am not sure what is most impressive—-the story of this wood or the end result of your art—-both are amazing…

And clearly I need to start reading more from Frank…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5738 days

#12 posted 06-25-2007 06:27 AM

Nice turning Tom, story too. You’re right about Frank, he’s definately a wild man, meaning a man of the wild. He could probably give Ted Nugent a good argument about living in the wilds and the spirituality of the wilds.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Steffen's profile


326 posts in 5527 days

#13 posted 06-29-2007 04:13 AM

That is one beautiful box. Great job!

I know what you mean about feeling the history in the wood. Every time I see a period piece of furniture or an old book I love to hold it, touch it, smell it…and think about all the hands which have come into contact with it over the years. I always encourage people to pick up my turned work…it gives it life.

-- Steffen - Kirkland, WA

View David's profile


1969 posts in 5631 days

#14 posted 06-29-2007 06:44 AM

Tom -

I have enjoyed Frank’s writings as well. This is a great piece of work. I like the story and the wonderful wood. Excellent as always!


View Don's profile


2603 posts in 5669 days

#15 posted 06-30-2007 05:19 AM

I came back and had a second look at this, Tom; just beautiful!

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

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