Tabula rasa, a blank slate, that’s what some philosopher I read about in school thought a child was. His term became entwined with its opposite to become the nature versus nurture debate in education. What you see today is to some degree a blank slate. Just as we all learned whoever tried to teach (or raise children), neither side of this argument is accurate on its own.
Wood has its cellular makeup, its colors, its shape, hardness, etc. Wood has been through many environmental experiences before ever entering our hands. Above all to me, wood has its own survivability. The trees that were the source of this wood forced their way through the dirt and the surrounding social and physical environment to become what it is.
Still, the legs you see in the picture (for that’s what they are intended for) are blanks. They are blank in that, although their potential for this project has been limited, there are still places they could go and serve my purpose for them. The crooked ones (which are the back legs for the chairs) could be configured to receive whatever kinds of backs I might want. These will be receiving a comb back and getting another couple of cuts to provide some angle that will give the overall chair a kind of movement as it comes off the floor. They, along with the front legs, will also be the supports for the stretchers, the thin pieces of wood at the bottom of a chair that provide it a little support. These with the seat and the comb backs (and in the captain’s chairs—the four long pieces are the front legs for these—the armrests) help to hold the arms together.
Another step that awaits them is the assembly and finishing of the pieces. This provides the personality for the chairs. It brings out the melding of grains and the brightening of the colors that make them more responsive to our vision.
For now, though, they are relatively blank. Potential oozing out of them.