Thursday, June 3, 2010
Wooden and Woolen
Wooden ~ Growing up as I did, with a carpenter father, I have always felt a strong affinity for wood. I love the color, the grain and the texture, but above all else, I adore the smell.
My brother has carried on the tradition of woodworking for our family and this week I received a surprise package in the mail. Over Thanksgiving I told him about my dyeing adventures with Ironwood and so he saved me some planed pieces of choice wood from his own projects.
It may sound silly, but this wood is so pretty to me that it seems a shame to boil it to extract the color. I can tell you right now that I plan to save some and place it in a decorative bowl for display in my home. Oh how I wish there were better words to describe smell! I would love to transport your senses to the earthen wonderland that is Rosewood. In the photograph, Rosewood is the more shredded looking of the three. The reddish curls are Honduran Mahogany which my brother says is very nice to work with. The darker, large curls are Western Cedar.
My brother evens his wood with a 100 year old, 16" Baley Plane. These curls are the byproduct of his work and would typically be tossed out with the trash. Heartbreaking! I think it must bother him too, to see pretty wood like this go to waste, so he separated them by type and sent me a gorgeous collection. I will ultimately use these shavings to dye wool. I only have enough wood to dye several ounces for each type, but those will be very unique rovings indeed!
Woolen ~ I posted a similar bracelet to this one just a couple days ago, but last night I tweaked the design. This is what I tend to do. I get a concept in my head and then I work with it until I think I have a good, solid product.
What I like about this model is the fact that it is made with one continuous piece of wire. There are no superfluous cuts to feel scratchy next to the skin. I have also avoided using any glues to keep the wool in place nor have I used a felting needle. I'm never happier than when I feel I have simplified a design while at the same time making it more natural and structurally sound.
I guess it is sort of quirky, this combination of wool and wire. Words like pretty and lovely aren't really appropriate. I think fellow fiber lovers will enjoy seeing another application for wool. It's also a soft element where you might not expect to find one.