Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Discarded Piece of Wood – Old and Useless – not so

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Today’s Blog Post
The Discarded Piece of Wood – Old and Useless – not so

As I carried the piece of wood into the shop of my fellow craftsman I didn’t want to give it up.  Yet I had no use for the old wood anymore.  I had handled it for the past few weeks now it was time to let it go.

Yet I had put so much of myself into it and looked at every bit of the surface so often I had memorized the thing from top to bottom, left to right.

About 75 years ago it had been placed into someone’s old house from what I determined when I bought it in Bracebridge, Ontario.  It had been taken out of the old house when renovations were being done on that old place. 

For all these years it had served as a door frame in that old place. The little ones of the family had run around that old place and knocked against the door frame often, the adults had leaned on it as they shared in the family experience, and it had been a part of a lot of people’s lives.  Many memories happened in and around that old door frame.

When it was ripped out of the place where it had stood so sturdy for so long it was destined for destruction.  With the nail holes in it and the paint on the edges together with the old varnish that had been applied to its top surface – it was good for nothing anymore.

When I bought the mahogany door frame from the “Re-Store” of “Habitat for Humanity” I saw the promise or the possibility in that old piece of wood.  Then the wood stood lifeless in my garage for over two years more.

The call came asking if I was able to carve a “Clock Beard”.  I did know that stage that Clocks had “Beards”.  I had seen the intricate carving on the very old clocks in the museums that we had visited over the years but never knew what they we were called.

The craftsman that made the connection with me was Rob Brown of Equinox Interiors ( ). Rob was building a clock cabinet for Bill.  His beautiful wood work was in need of a carving to be done to complete the task at hand.

After meeting with Rob and Bill (the man who is having the clock made) I set off back to Misty Hollow’s workshop to begin the planning for this possible carving.

Using an original carving that Bill had of a Clock Beard from the 1800s I began to create a “Canadiana” kind of Beard for the new clock. This one would have maple leaves on it.

The old piece of discarded wood is now going to be in the brand new clock. It will stand sturdy and proudly somewhere in Canada – for years to come.  How about another 75 to 100 years.

( The Completed Beard - held in place - its future home)

What an adventure this has been!

I really didn’t want to give up that old piece of wood… sheesh! But today I am celebrating the new opportunity for an old piece of wood.

Hey you know – that is a lot like my life!  WOW!

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Brenda said...

Murray--That is absolutely Beautiful! You are one talented man. Keep up the good work.The new owner will love this!

Bill said...

Murray's outstanding carving has exceeded my hopes/expectations. It' s the final ingredient in the restoration of a very fine Astronomical seconds beating regulator clock , made in the USA about 1810.
I am indebted to Murray and Rob, fine/exceptional Canadian craftsmen, who deserve recognition for their contribution to the fabric of Canadian excellence.