There is nothing better than watching a child fully engaged in the creative process. My grandson, Oliver, is completing a school assignment at my studio bench. We spent the day together during Take Your Kid To Work. The concept is to expose children to the things that their parents do during the work day. Oliver opted to go with me to visit my friend’s wood mill to see how I source wood for turning wood. Oliver was able to see tree trunks cut into slabs for table tops and then a variety of finishing processes requiring different labor skills.
Visit to a Wood Mill
We went to visit my friend Rob Rising’s tree milling and processing yard. The trees come from New York City Parks. Black Lumberjack processes tree trunks into lumber for furniture and other utilitarian items at this facility. Rob also recycles vintage beams from Brooklyn and NYC Brownstones that he converts into flooring and table tops.
Oliver learned a great deal at Take Your Kid To Work about recycling these materials so this wood does not become firewood, but gets a second life in usable products. The second part of the day is to prepare a presentation on what he learned to be shared this with his classmates. In this photo, Oliver is making a display of different species of wood to show textures, grains and age rings.
Here is a platter that I made from a salvaged beam for a 1850 Brooklyn building
My studio is in Montvale, New jersey, USA. My primary tool is the wood lathe. This is the tool I use to create the form. Once I am satisfied with the shape I take the piece to the workbench for a variety of secondary operations. This may include pyrography which is wood burning, carving, staining and painting.