A Very Kinda Wood: The Serendipi Tree

Although it’s no longer fashionable to welcome your online visitors with a bleak n bold cover image, as almost every magazine in the world did in the print era for more or less economic reasons, I can’t stop obsessively designing new covers for this Soodlepoodle website. Every two weeks I reliably start mulling over my latest storefront, a trait that’s pretty much obsolete in today’s online world. For obvious (SEO) reasons, everything now starts with the menu as the main page with maybe one picture delicately embedded. This persistent navel-gazing activity harks back a long time in my personal history, just take a look at this ten-year-old post: back then I was tinkering with a fancy FleckVieh retouch in a one-man call-and-response manner.

While digitally xperimenting with the very latest woodworking photos from just the previous afternoon a sudden blue “screen” turned up with something written on it that totally reminded me of oscillography-goes-cave-painting, albeit with it came fascinating differences in detail to the original: these messy, fairly vertical lines. In (physical) reality it would be: an oszillating but always continuous sine line, which probably behaves eccentrically or synthesizer-like square waves or a flock of single Dirac shocks = needle impulses. This would be the physical phenomena that would be most similar to the new picture above.

But seen from far and in a glimpse: striking! Andall atop of a shoal of billowing fish-like shapes!

Hammer: all these lines and the organically grained blue flowing backdrop actually exist in the 3D world, as they are simply photographically inverted saw cuts in beech wood. And they actually look like this in real = understandably photographed

These seeminly painted-on slits are due to the use of a Japanese saw, which cuts very narrowly compared to the traditional European saws in use – narrow as a line!
The reason i’m sawing such strange patterns into a board – the next puzzle-, just lies in the concrete aim of this work: it is about cutting two semicircles out of each side of two pieces, in order to be able to embed half an existing, i.e. serendipitously obtained, cardboard tube on each side – you can already see this in the picture above. But only in case of knowing!

Of course you can do this with the usual electric DIY tools. In this case, either a band saw or a hand-held jigsaw could be used. However, facing the small radius of 3cm, you would also have to do this comb-like cutting pattern. And afterwards continue by hand. Or with a router. However, the semi-circular template construction required for this would be far more time-consuming than my method: two hands with classic carpentry tools and a brain enjoying it.

All these pictures and stories are only in reach by the principle of serendipity: finding without having searched.
Only equipped with this open playful mindset this will do. It also is paramount to always have the photogenic, the beauty in view at all times. There should be a constant vigilance to take literally a step back to the camera tray – even at the expense of the “sacred workflow”. And photography takes up very little time, you just have to be sure that you can carry on with your actual work afterwards – all just a question of practise!

I also took some quite informative detail photos during the process of carving out the half circles, just take them as additional visual teaching aids and, by the way: set designers – take another look!

Differently shaped old-school files and a wonderful vintage solid workbench were put delightetly to use here – muito obrigado, Señor Lobo! On the cut surfaces of the workpiece, you can see its first use from which it actually originated. In other words: I thoroughly use only already existing material.
Of course, this also includes the cardboard tubes, which were also saved from becoming waste – as the initial spark for the whole project! More of this “flow” will follow soon!
But finally, even after having flicked the “publish”-button (as mostly everytime) there surprisingly comes to mind and closing the circle up above in the: headline!

For your interest: take a geneigte look on the original German version of this article.