Living Wood

One of the fascinating things about wood is that it continues to have some characteristics of life after it is cut down and removed from its source of nutrients. Its cellular structure (life a set of soda straws) continues to fill and empty of fluid, depending on the humidity and wetness in its vicinity. As these cells fill, the wood expands across the grain. It also shrinks as they empty.

I have always been overcome with the force of life in wood of which the above is only one example. Outside my door at 12411 Winchester Ave., Bunker Hill, WV is an old hackberry tree (at least, that’s what I call it). It stands 30 feet high and spreads all over the place. It apparently grew out of a crack in the cement to what it is today. Wood is a self-starter in terms of the forces (societal, legal, climactic, etc.) around it. It grows where there is opportunity, and its abilities can be rewarded.

Therefore, when I form a piece of furniture, I am doing so with the partnership of the wood I use. Its life continues to take its place in mine. In a way, we both become living wood.