Progressive cuts expose the best design as the wood reveals it's inner self as the final design becomes evident. My adjustable chainsaw "drills" large holes to remove the core sections. This "drill" is more of a hole saw. Large pieces of centre core can slide out in one piece. This process of core removal is critical. Strength remains adequate as design and style are enhanced, and weight removal is welcomed, but best of all, warping during seasoning is low due to this balanced moisture release tactic to allow more surface area exposure.
Their raw beauty, colours, size and durability have inspired me to sculpt from them design furniture that I have too individually imagine for each of these majestic medium. Inspirations of new designs are previously sketched during camping holidays etc, so when a future log presents itself, my mojo kicks in easy. Then I physically and mentally roll them around until I discover how to best express their natural features.
A metal detector is needed to scan the medium because people hang plants, signs, sprinkler systems, nesting boxes, radio wire saddles, telephone wire insulators, clothesline nails, tree house ladders, etc, into trees. Does this list end?. I have found bullets, fencing staples with short wire still connected, and builders nails that had been put into the tree for house profiles when the tree was much younger, and I had to cut the mature tree up for firewood to find the nails still 6" from the centre of the log. Why have I told you all this? It's because very few people want to risk their sawmills on short, knotty, bent, metal infested urban forest timber, so this material usually is firewood or dumped. I endure this risk to save our valuable resource.
The first cut is an exciting commitment that binds all following processes. A second cut is then made parallel with the first, 520mm for coffee tables, 750 for dining tables. Next, some very heavy woodturning hollows out the inside and outside faces. Sculpting the leg holes reduces weight and eliminates much fatigue during drying. The centre of the log is usually removed as it normally has some hole or crack already.
Blue Gum 32 shown above, was made base first to use the small branch fork as a short leg, then paralleled to 520mm. The bulk was wood turned away. Sculpting reduced weight, achieved some refinement, and eased tensions during the drying stage. The glass peephole replaced a small branch deformity. I love it. That sounded easy, but wait there's more.
These sculpted designs require 3 years (1 year per inch thick) for the unseasoned natural timber to dry in a sheltered environment. The roughed out natural shape is further refined until style, function, weight, balance, strength are unified. Some tables take over 100 hours to create. Choice under bark surfaces are retained to highlight the raw edges.
Sculptables regularly feature wavy grain areas that are harmonious in gradually, overtime, relieving the subtle natural forces onto the sculpted surface. This slight sculptural relief (striation) looks and feels like real timber should.
Our patience is rewarded when we see this saved timber beautified by combining innovative woodturning and sculptural techniques. I continually customise tools to probe the excitement of personal boundaries, as fresh ideas are born to explore the possibilities of these organic treasures.
The latest light-weight designs let two people carry them, or one person can nudge them around the lounge room.
We hope to continue our exploration in creating pieces that appreciate into heritage pieces.
Other special equipment and where it was used is illustrated beside this finished sculpted fruit and vegetable display.
Clients are invited to visit Sculptables Studio and Gallery at 29 Emerald Heights Drive, Emerald Beach, NSW. Back