Friday, August 21, 2015

sycamore planks...

Yesterday I went to pick up some lumber I had arranged to be milled from logs harvested in the forest around our house. When I had been at the sawyer's earlier in the summer, he had a log of spalted sycamore that I was interested in. I found upon my return that he had milled it into 2 in. planks, each over 16 feet long. The spalting is beautiful from one end to the other, and I managed to buy all 5 remaining planks with one having been sold to another customer.

 I would be able to make thousands of boxes using thin slices of the spalted wood as inlay. Or I could make 10 beautiful tables 8 foot long tables, each one of exceptional beauty. How I use these woods, may depend on what my customers want. Shall I take these beautiful planks and whittle them into thin strips shared widely, or shall I keep these beautiful planks in tact out of even greater reverence for the tree.

If you or someone you know would like to be a part of my creative process and end up with a piece of timeless (but expensive) beauty, email me to make arrangements.

Mario returned home from a week at Marc Adams School, having given his life the gift of wood carving with Mary May. I hope that he, as a regular blog reader discovers David Esterly's book, The Lost Carving. It would be the perfect contemplative companion to a week in the wood shop. Read then work, then read again.

I am in the thick of chapter reviews from my editor at Taunton press. Her comments and questions, and suggested corrections make me a better writer, and will make my tiny boxes book more useful to readers. The best work is always done in relation to others... what they will think, what they will notice, what they need to be informed about and what the writer hopes they will build in their own lives from the experience. And that being said, the best work is also done in collaboration with others. It involves listening, seeing, caring and having the intention of arising to one's best efforts.

make, fix, create, and do whatever you can to enable others to do likewise.


  1. The week spent learning basics of woodcarving with Mary May was an eye opener for me. And by the way, David Esterly's book is now on order from Powell's.


  2. I think that Esterly's book would be the perfect book to have read to you in the context of a carving class. Participants would take turns reading to the class as all the rest were able to listen and work. I looked and could not find it on CD.