Preparing Dead-Wood


Once the trunks are back at the studio yard I analyze them again for potential and start to formulate a design for the lamp or frame. If it has unwanted wood or branches its cut off. Then the blasting away of the old vines, rotten wood and dirt begins. Many of the pieces have been half buried for decades. A large Hydro Blaster that produces a stream of 2200 lbs of pressure is used. It has an adjustable pressure gauge. This allows for control while sculpture the wood. As the water is chipping away, the remaining trunk becomes patternized. Some grains in the trunk are softer than others and are blasted away leaving the stronger grains in tact. At this point I stop the blasting.

This can create a quit textured surfaces reflecting the natural lines of the tortured wood. The characteristics of each piece dictate what the final product will look like. I just bring about its most interesting characteristics. All woods are different in structure, state of curing and decay. It could start out as dirt caked trunk and underneath be a river of hard flowing wood. It is no wonder I never get board with this work.

A hole receives the metal rod in the center of the lamp. The rod in turn holds the wiring for the florescent bulb. The drilling of this hole is an important part of the final look of the lamp. I will first evaluate the potential hole for size of metal stem. It could be a tube ¾ to 2 inches in diameter. The drill bits are very long. I have made them myself. Some are as long as 2.5 meters. What I like most is effectuating a dance with wood and metal. The metal rods are straight and the trunks are mostly curved and twisted. So on the tubes direct path it could defines a straight line accentuating the curves of the wooden trunk.

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  • Preparing Dead-wood