I grew up in the same house, my entire childhood and never moved until I was married. At that house, there was a tree in our front yard that was huge. It was where we attempted to climb, where our swing would hang and where we had found a family of baby blue birds a handful of times. It had been there for years and over time, it started to look worse and worse with time. For some reason the trunk started to rot years ago and after several years, my parents decided that it was best to have the tree taken down.
My parents had talked about having this tree come down for about 3 or so years before it actually hit the ground and was down. That was in May of this year. While those conversations about the tree coming down happened, I couldn't help but think about how we could preserve a piece of this tree for each of us.
I knew it needed to be something small, but just something that we could all have to remember that tree.
She's my used-to-be-my-boss at my current job, but also a friend.
I think I had talked to her about this tree and how we wanted to have something made out of it. Her husband is a jack-of-all-trades, but one heck of a wood worker. He has done it for years and makes it look so easy. So, after a few conversations and a few stops at my parents house, Chuck (Karen's husband) decided that he could potentially help us with our "preserving the tree" project.
So far, so good.
When the tree was cut, Chuck had given my family specific measurements for what he would need for this project. Later in the week, he picked up the logs and took them back to his shop.
After Coen was born, we were settled in and their grandson was born, we finally scheduled a dinner date with them to visit with them, have them meet Coen and see the tree project.
As you can see, they are already taking shape very nicely.
We asked him to try and make about 5 bowls from the wood he collected so that we could potentially have everyone in my immediate family receive a bowl. The bowls won't be very big. Maybe the size of a salad bowl or maybe something that we could hold jewelry in or change from your pocket. It doesn't matter really. Just big enough for us to remember and potentially use.
A memory, if nothing else.
Chuck was actually able to create 7 bowls but because of the rotting in the tree, he's not sure how every bowl will turn out, but he's going to try and turn them all.
As you can see in these pictures, some of the bowls have darker spots than others. While those look really cool, it could mean that when he goes to turn them, that part might fall out and/or crack the bowl. It's sort of a waiting game to see how it all works out.
From the moment he cuts and does the first round of turning the bowls to completion, this timeline is about a year. It takes a long time for the wood to dry out and complete the project, but we're patiently waiting. It will be so neat to have this project completed and in our hands.
In just a few more months, he'll put each bowl on this machine and turn them to start the finishing process. He was showing us how it looks when he goes to do this step since we were there, but it won't actually happen for the rest of them until that year mark has hit.
While we were there watching him show us the process, he was explaining how he went to school to be a woodshop teacher, but mainly kept up the hobby because he loved it so much. He's made some beautiful cutting board, bowls, cabitnets, wood framing and various wood projects that would just blow your mind.
Once this project is complete, the bowls will have a very thin edge and they will be buffed and beautiful. I cannot wait to see how it turns out and also to see how many bowls actually make it through the process. So far, they look awesome!
Stay tuned to see how it all works out.