The Sacred Process

The Sacred Process

Is labor a sacrament?  The invitation of the Eighth Day?  A sacred collaboration with the living God?  I can’t help but to note that the call to labor in the garden came before the curse of toil.  I am certain that labor is about more than just earning my bread.  There is something deeper there, not just for the artist, but for the ditch digger and the roofer, the farmer and the nurse.  “Whatever you think, it’s more than that…”  ISB.

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Crosstimber Tables

These images document a build in its early stage of a family of black walnut tables, centered around a richly grained and beautifully colored walnut tree which we salvaged from a farm near Winfield, Kansas.  The tables are a collaboration between my best friend/business partner and myself, sharing designing and building tasks to create, what we hope, are some authentically good pieces of furniture in the continuing tradition of live-edge/natural-slab furniture.

Prints of “The Living Tree” Are Available for Sale

at the BaumWerk Etsy StoreDear friends,  I thank you for all of your kind words and interest regarding this new print of the Living Tree.  I am grateful that it seems to have struck a chord with many of you.  A number of you have made inquiries into when and if prints would be available to purchase.  As of Friday, a limited number (there will be more as I continue to print the edition) have been listed on my ETSY store.  I am selling these first fifteen for $125, after that the price will increase to $150.  Click here to go to the listing.   Please read more below for some details about the print, and thank you again for your support!

The image itself is 12″ wide and 22 1/2″ tall and is printed on French’s 100# Butcher Off White Dur-o-tone paper, which is 18″ wide and 25″ tall.  French’s paper is American made in Niles Michigan.The edition will be 1oo prints, which is the biggest edition I have ever made.  Every single print is hand made by me on my Wepplo etching press in my Rose Hill, Kansas workshop. The print is made using three linoleum blocks, as a composite image.  It took me over a year to design and carve the image into the blocks (although I was doing lots of other things during that year, besides carving linoleum).Many hours of painstaking carving went into creating all of the details in The Living Tree.The Tree and it’s roots are loaded with life, like this little owl. There are many spiritual and natural beliefs and dreams symbolically represented in this print.  There are many things which I see and believe about who my God is, and also things which I strive to cultivate in my life and stewardship on the land.  I don’t have many words as a companion for this image just yet, but perhaps in the future I may try to lay out those ideas for those who are interested.

The Book of Jonah

The following is a preliminary in a series of thumbnail sketches attempting to outline the story of Jonah.  These drawings, working out various ways to represent the various parts of the story, are a trial towards making an illustrated book of the story of Jonah.  The book may be a handmade one, possibly of linoleum-block or woodblock prints, or alternatively one which is printed with reproduced ink drawings.

Below is a larger format and more detailed, though unfinished, ink drawing illustrating Jonah building his shelter, as the gourd-vine appointed to grow by God begins to grow behind.

Walnut Timber Mantelpiece

The six and a half inch thick, 13 foot long walnut slab filled the shop as it came from the chainsaw mill.
Beam cutter on the old worm-drive
“rough-sawn” to the max
Using the “beam-cutter” to rip the slab into a six inch square timber
Pulling the saw at the end of the cut to save the last bit of slab for the corbels
Aluminum C-channel as a guide
start of the smoothing
a jack plane with a radius set to take heavy shavings
Now the joiner
pretty obvious
chopping out for a patch over a rotten knot
the same, fitted
filing the edges of a little copper butterfly template
bench-top with tools for making butterfly templates
variety of butterfly templates
Scribing the timber for butterflies to bind the main check
Routing out the waste
chopping the rest
right up to the knife line
ready for the joining
carving the corbels (my documentation fell off for most of this process)
mating the various natural edges of the corbels to the mantel
a little further back
fitting the opposite corbel
rough-cut cove on the left corbel
both corbels with coves-cut and awaiting final shaping
apply the final touches on the ends of the timber
“C” for the covenant
installed over the fire box, and the home-owner’s sandstone work.
I look forward to seeing it with the stone work done