Sunday, February 26, 2012

Feb 2K12 Workshop: Unintended Consequences Result in Giggles!

We had a nice turnout at the Feb BSSJ workshop...lots of folks carving, and many onlookers learning what carving was all about.

I brought in an old Acer Campestre (Field Maple) which had been carved out about 6 years ago, in a workshop with Graham Potter (UK).

Here is the tree just before Graham got started...

...and Graham getting into the large side branch with a Makita and one of his larger carving bits...

The Maple continued to grow out some small side branches, but the main roots and most of the trunk died back...

My plan for this Spring was to do some additional work on the existing deadwood, pull out the punky deadwood near the soil line, and change the planting angle.

The new design was to lay the whole tree over, so it looked like it had been ravaged by a hurricane, which ripped it apart and laid it over.

The vast amount of deadwood, positioned under the live tree, would make a very convincing survival story. I just had to carve out quite a lot of the old stuff to allow enough room to lay it over.
So...carving went into full throttle. Wood bits flew, I layered my clothing in punky wood dust, and finally took a break to work with several other folks who had questions.

One BSSJ member came running over and told me he heard a --THUD-- on the table, and there lay the deadwood I spent the morning carving!
Apparently all the vibration had loosened the deadwood from the live vein enough that it finally just fell away!

Talk about laughing! What a hoot it was...the joke was completely on me!

So...How to proceed?

Well...the plan is STILL THE SAME! I want to treat the break-away deadwood with preservative, connect it back with the live wood using mechanical means, and proceed with laying the whole design over like the 'Hurricane Maple' originally proposed. Should be a fun project, and in some ways, is like a 'Phoenix Graft', where the mating surfaces have been properly prepared.

I will report as progress is made.


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