A sad day that was, beginning the demise of an
important timber from trees that had also been a source of food
to natives and the early settlers.
Speaking of the wood's character, it is quite
'calm', a fairly light in weight hardwood that is yielding and
relatively easy to work with. With time, objects made from the
wood take on a subdued but very pleasant honey color, giving a
subtle quiet effect. One of my favorite woods, and fortunate to
have a local source for it.
I have made a wide range of different types of
furniture with Chestnut, both of western and Japanese style
inspiration. I currently am building a rocking chair with the
wood. There can be some range in the quality of the material,
the older trees with a tighter grain are the ones that yield the
best lumber, with greater stability resulting as well.
It occurs that many woodworkers have not had the
opportunity to work with the wood, perhaps haven't much seen how
it turns out when worked and polished up with a finish on it.
Both a clear oil and an urushi finish will give very pleasing
A tray or "obon" like this is very commonly used
to serve tea, I suppose nearly every household will have one. A
fine wood for the lathe as well. This chunk has an
interesting swath of reddish color through it, something that I
don't recall seeing much before.
I put this small item with it's stand of tig
welded stainless out as part of an exhibition that I had of
pieces for sale, something inexpensive to supplement the larger
furniture work. I was interested in seeing what reaction
it might bring, to my mind a very lovely piece of wood in a
useful form that most people can relate to, and last but not
least, at a giveaway price. "Buy it for almost nothing and I
will give you the stand too".
I like to at least show one thing at a price
that a shrewd person ought to pick up on right away, my
contribution to the masses, so to speak. I don't recall there
being any reaction really, folks barely looked at it.
It is hard to figure, sometimes, and a bit
disappointing. Still, Illusions can inspire...
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