Your Brain On Wood
It may seem odd that someone writing about artisanal woodworking would focus first on the effect wood has on the one fashioning with it. Wood strikes many people as inert – unmoving and unchanging, passive, waiting for our touch to bring it to beauty. This is a deep misunderstanding of the relation between wood and woodworker. In the process of a project the change is at least equal, if not more on the woodworker’s side. Wood changes our stance and alters our being. It gets into our brain and unleashes forces which lift our vision and release our feelings. The relationship between the woodworker and wood may be likened to that of a wave crashing onto the rocks. The wave comes in and is metamorphized into force and spray, and is redirected ultimately to itself and its source of energy. When I start a project, I pick the size and shape that seem right for the purpose I have selected. As I come incrementally closer and closer to the wood, my vision clears and feelings are released. I am reoriented to my project and suddenly it is me reacting to the wood. I am mixed with it. This is important because wood is my way of communicating with others, and in a way it takes an equal part. The brain of woodworker is c hanged by wood. Finally, that is good because it brings out a more authentic person.