Making My Bed – The Colours and Textures Change
Contemplative dimensions of work remove me from earthly realms
The past few days have changed from heavy joinery to more refined and defining work. I like the change of texture as I work and my senses shift their focus to the closeness and higher levels of exactness decorative features bring. The bed head and footboard are now jointed fully and I am contented with how this came out and indeed the work of work.
I have been alone in the Castle for a week now and apart from my tapping and sawing and the driving winds from the oceans, it’s very peaceful. Planing the ebony for the banding to the panels I became conscious of the incredible gift ebony has been to us. Black delineation against the ripples in the oak seems abrupt somehow and yet the wiry and straight make a pleasing picture to me. I am glad the pieces seem so complimentary as I arrange the parts to lock them together in permanence.
The shavings seem random in their interlocking and tumbling, but even here I find a uniformity and order that defies the wild randomness from whence they came. But then I look again and I see the rebellion and I think of the times when I tried to defy the order essential to my making and found myself sadly lacking. I like the concept that working brings order and patterns to my life that when I comply, what I make becomes something lovely. Randomness rarely works in working wood. I think of the violin when I say this, or the beautiful boats of old that sailed the oceans with sails alone. Balance and form, function leading the way by which form emerges
The planes I use are varied and diversely different in function. I could use but two for this work but I am advantaged now by using some of those I have acquired through the years. The bench has filled and will remain so until all the banding and rabbeting is done. It’s funny really. As I build, and clutter reduces my space, I find myself also building the will to clear and clean my workspace, but I maintain continuity for fear of breaking the current of creativity flowing in my work. Soon I will enjoy clearing my bench and sharpening my tools for the next phase. I love this phase of preparation too.
My next stage is to plane, scrape and finish every component. Many are done and it won’t take too long. I have made my shellac for the polishing and before gluing up I will apply two sanding and sealing coats and then an additional coat. This makes for a smoother finish all around. In the palings and the meeting edges I will totally finish out before assembly. If I were to spray the coats I would assemble fully, but using a pad and brush is best done as a step before completion. The larger surface and those unhindered by closeness of parts can be done last of all. I had ordered my bed parts from Lee Valley Veritas and they arrived this week.
My conclusion of part-assembly is near now. I have mixed feelings between the doing of it and the completing of it. Half says I don’t want it to end and the other parts says nearly there. It’s an important stage of mixed emotion for me. Exciting, really!
it must please you no end to think this piece of furniture will be be enjoyed for generations to come i for one can’t wait to see it complete, although watching the build is the best part for me i do hope to make one of my own one day
what a wonderful post .i have just been finishing a toy box for my niece for christmas and painted over the dovetails .that disappeared beneath the paint but the joy i got from constructing them will last.forever .yes there is so much wellbeing to be had from working wood .thank you Paul and have a lovely christmas.
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