On the Edge of a Clearing: Staghorn Sumac
Is Sumac a beautiful wood to be admired or a weed to be eradicated? One might say both but only until it is seen in a familiar form.
People who have bulldozed it, piled it and burnt it now call me first to see if something of beauty can be made. (Please note that these pictures don't begin to show the depth of colour in this wood. One has to pick up the piece and pass it through the light in order to see the iridescent greens and browns.)
Pavo Muticus Imperator, above, is the latin name for a rare peacock. The rings with the cream heartwood are reminiscent of the eyes on the peacock's tail when it is in full display.
Echo, Echo was the last piece that I made that was carved. Carving a turning feels awkward to me and supplants the voice of the wood with mine. In returning to the path I have been wandering down most of my life, the wood can speak for itself again.
Catching the Rain took me away from the straight line vase that I had been making for several years. By rounding the bottom I was able to make a fuller and larger piece without the attendant need to increase the footprint. Here there is a feeling of lushness and a sense of weight until it is picked up and the light, frivolity of sumac is revealed.