Home on the Hill - Intarsia Woodworking

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Project by Chris Mobley posted 03-12-2013 02:06 PM 1941 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Home on the Hill - Intarsia Woodworking
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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 -

6 comments so far

View luv2learn's profile


3109 posts in 3309 days

#1 posted 03-12-2013 02:34 PM

Chris, this is such a wonderful story of unselfishness and courage in the face of tragedy. What a beautiful tribute to your dad.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3873 days

#2 posted 03-12-2013 03:09 PM

Being from Georgia, I remember those storms. That was a nice story of your Dad and Mom although tragic losses occurred. That was a nice gift to him and a wonderful piece of work. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3919 days

#3 posted 03-12-2013 03:25 PM

Wow!!! what a story Chris!
Glad everything turned out for your family, I know it must of been hard.
Before my father died in Feb 2012, every April we would go to Alabama on a fishing trip, I was down there around the time this happened and although I wasn’t right were it’s path it was was bad. All over the news.
Great Project and great gift
Thanks for sharing and God Bless.

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View Ken90712's profile


17972 posts in 4195 days

#4 posted 03-12-2013 05:31 PM

Wow, glad everythng turned out ok so hard for all involved with these things hit. Great work on this.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View dwhite's profile


7 posts in 2911 days

#5 posted 03-12-2013 06:11 PM

Great story and project.

-- David, Advance NC

View Chris Mobley's profile

Chris Mobley

121 posts in 2933 days

#6 posted 03-13-2013 11:37 AM

Thank you all very much!

-- Chris Mobley -

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