First of all it must be accepted that this box is beautiful in its final state. Some may look at this and not like it all, and those people are …stupid. HA! Just kidding. There are lots of tastes and styles but this box is pretty much me, rough around the edges and not conforming to natural standards (maybe “dumb as a fence post” as well?).
This wood came from Europe where it was made into crates to carry extravagant metal and glass cases worth more than a couple hundred thousand dollars. The cases are on display in the National World War I Museum here in Kansas City. I helped installed those cases and the crates were destined for the dumpster. I couldn’t stand the thought of all that wood heading to the landfill and had to save what I could.
“The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone” Psalms 118:22
The wood is beat up, distressed, and “damaged”. What I see is character. One of the pieces was very special and measured over 16” wide. I have spent 5 years trying to figure out what to make out of it. Just last week I decided on the incredible masterpiece I would create. My plans were detailed and my dreams were extensive.
I cut the board to length…
It started to crack…
It continued to crack.
I stood and watched the crack spread the entire length of the board. In the amount of time it takes to say “Spinal Muscular Atrophy” my masterpiece was ruined, the plans I had were over, my dreams for that perfect piece were destroyed.
I said “Golly gee, darn it” and ever so gently LAUNCHED my tape measure across the garage and as it exploded against the wall I simply walked away. All that time dreaming of exactly what this piece would become was wasted.
When my jets had cooled I lifted the lid to the dumpster and went to send the wood to its apparent destiny. When I picked up the dysfunctional piece I noticed, not the imperfections, but rather the beauty of the grain and the uniqueness of the shape. These were things that would not have been noticed if I hadn’t taken the time to look closely. It now couldn’t be what I had wanted, but I went to work cutting, sanding, gluing, and staining.
This wood has a story, it has twice overcome being thrown out and discarded. It is not what I had envisioned, it is not what I had planned, and it is not what I would have asked for, but somehow, in many ways…
It is way, way better!