having roughed out the form of the standing tree, the band remains as a solid heavy cross-section of the original log. waiting to be pierced through until it is a hollow ring floating around the uprights. this requires an Expedition into the Interior. balanced up on ladders and table tops, undergoing acrobatic contortions, we use a powerful drill with an auger bit to pierce through the foot of oak with as many holes as possible… then bash out the bits in between with mallet and gouge – good clean violent fun.
(somewhere around about here we enjoyed the novel experience of both the mallet and the chisel BREAKING IN HALF on us… this is not supposed to happen… their whole reason in life is to bash things. the shop agreed and replaced it – Thank You)
of course, it was not as simple as just clearing out the entire inside… no… we had to match the lower branches below the band up with the top branches above… so that they flowed smoothly, largely unseen, through the band… took a bit of juggling, with a bit of cursing thrown in, an effective mix.
(gives you more respect for the completion of the Channel Tunnel, just imagine if they’d missed each other in the middle…)
how were we to access such a limited access area? you cannot see/aim/hit all in a cubic inch.
“this bit is just about impossible to get at,” – archetypal quote from Mark-the-Sharp.
we were proud to come up with the “two man chiselling technique.”
This Took Ages… and all the way through, saying, “no one will ever notice this.”
and all manner of different tools.
tools… tools… TOOLS.
“let the tool do the job”
– a trope as old as the World of Work
the entire project has been written in chapters of “the tool appropriate to this segment”.
from the mighty chainsaw…
…to the delicate Dremel.
from the hewing-out of the shape to the final polish, the tool appropriate to the task. the happy moment of realisation that,
“this is JUST the tool for this bit”:
chainsaw – Arbortech circular saw – Arbortech mini circular saw –
drill with auger – mallet chisel gouge (of every size) – two man mallet-stick-gouge –
flap sander – orbital sander – mini-disc Arbortech sander – Dremel
with proper tool management goes TIME MANAGEMENT:
owl art studio is founded on the Fundamental Principle of the Universe: “all things are possible – if you do them one day at a time.”
“all things are possible, but not at the same time”
– Etienne Decroux, my old theatre master in Paris…
owl art studio finds a rhythm…
now that the hand tool carving has begun, the initial plan is to get in an honest minimum of three hours a day… this smoothly segwayed into Mark-the-Sharp putting in a full day on both Monday and Thursday.
and we became a team, pulling together, shoulder to shoulder, nose to the grindstone, hand on the teacup. from chilly spring, through chilly summer, to chilly autumn. taking full advantage of the special pizza offer at the restaurant-round-the-corner: 4 for 3, takeaway…
long long ago, quarter of a century (my very first Meeting ever, in fact) (how bout that), I heard some rough-hewn old country man type of fella, in a soft West Country accent,
“I’ve read about me-di-ta-tion and that, and what I’ve realised is that the work ethic is the English form of meditation.”
I was much struck… that has stayed with me ever since.
to lose oneself in the rhythms of one’s craft, to attain freedom from the Bondage of Self, in an act of Creation: this is it…
with music, fire, cats, tea, friends dropping in,
there arrives the Odd Moment of This-Is-It – Here and Now… not this wretched forever wishing one was somewhere else, where the real party is happening… how rare, how wonderful.
“on action alone be thy focus, never on its fruits, thus thou shalt not get evil”
– i dare say there were some wood carvers back in the Bhagavad Gita