Saturday, March 21, 2009

Flung through the woods

I am tired of turning bad wood. When on the mountaintop with Mahoney, the other thing he said, (see previous posts) was that nobody kept a bowl made out of a piece of bad wood. Since no one was going to keep them, there was no use in making them. I have decided he is right.

My thinking in the past has been that I will not throw out a piece I have just spent several hours making after having waited two months for it to dry. Just couldn't do it. And then often as not I would end up with a flawed piece. Maybe a crack, a rough side, a hole, anything. Sometimes I would call it a piece of art (what is art anyway?) and go ahead and finish it up.

Yesterday I had a nice piece of cedar and I had trimmed it up on my new band saw into a perfect bowl blank. I waited a day or two before starting (anticipation -- remember the ketchup commercial and the song?) and when I started I thought I had a nice bowl about the size of a vegetable serving bowl, roughly eight inches in diameter and almost four inches deep. When I got the bottom flattened out, it had a pitch pocket which I thought I could cut off and still have a nice bowl left. I started cutting it out and it kept going. I cut some more and it was still there. I cut some more and it was still there. The bowl kept getting smaller and smaller and I was headed towards a soup bowl. Then it got to be a saucer and that stupid pitch pocket was still there. It was not going away and the bowl I had pictured in my mind was going away. I took it off the lathe and took the hatchet to it so I would not be tempted to salvage it and then I flung all three pieces down through the woods behind the shop to recycle it. Life's too short to fool around with bad wood.

I am trying to decide if the same idea applies to people.

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