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From noxious weed to sculptural works

Having cut down several Ash trees on my parent’s property in the Yarra Valley where they were spreading across the property at a rapid rate, I didn’t want the wood to go to waste.

My parents planted these trees with good intent and I wanted to honour their commitment to helping what we now consider our 'environmental footprint', but they didn't see it that way. They just loved to see things grow!

I enjoy the scent and grain of Ash and wanted to highlight the positives of this wood rather than see it go to waste. Over the years I’ve learnt that with the right application, any wood can be converted into something that celebrates its individual qualities that set it apart from other timbers.

Here I felt intent on burning as a way of not only exposing grain patterns, but also create a wonderful contrast to the whiteness of the freshly cut timber.

Allowing Ash to season before being worked sees a yellowing of the wood, which is fine, but I wanted to retain the whiteness for this series of projects.

So here I was, setting off on a new journey of experimentation intent on focusing on texture, either left from the chainsaw or imposed by a turning tool, highlighted by burning.

Working with freshly cut wood adds another element to these pieces… as the wood dries it distorts, either between the cutting and turning stage, or after the wood has been turned, all dependant on environmental temperature, time taken between cutting and turning. There are so many variables in the process. I look forward to seeing where this process of experimentation leads.

Ultimately nature will have its say, and we need to take a step back and see how to highlight the collaboration between our hand and that of nature.

And what to do with resulting shavings? Create a mat of weed suffocating mulch in the garden... a weed suppressing another weed. How much better can the process be... providing our intentions work, just like those of my parent when they planted these Ash trees all those years ago.

Pieces in progress

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