Sweet Cherry

A freind of mine came to the workshop and saw this piece.  “What’s it for?”  He asked.

Back in the summer I was lucky enough to be givent a few logs of Sweet Cherry or English Cherry as I’ve always known it.  Any chance of heading down a new path to see what comes is too hard to resist for me.  I’d had little chance to work with Cherry wood in the past and the offer of some big logs gave me an excuse to buy a massive chainsaw that I had always wanted.  The logs came locally from clearing a building site and as I am very keen to work with locally harvested timber I was happy to see what came.

I enjoyed the steady labour of using my alaskan saw mill and massive chainsaw, I took the best of the logs and boarded them to various thicknesses estimating thier possible uses.  The ends are painted so as not to dry too quickly and they then spend 7 weeks in the kiln drying out……

I found quickly as I enthusiastically cut into the boards that I was unable to use the Cherry in the way that I had imagined.  I had planned a series of joinery pieces which would also make use of the superb carving properties of the timber but was unhappy with the way in which the timber would join along the grain, partly this is due to the density of the timber and partly the strength of the grain pattern.  This problem is seen in a lot of modern work tops that are made without much care, the relative parts are chaotic in thier grain and there is little regard for balance.  So rather than force the timber to a use that I’m not happy with it can go to a use that I know it performs excellently.

All English fruitwoods as far as I know are good for carving, they have a very tight closed grain which with sharp tools works well in all directions.  It is not the strongest of timbers conventionally, but can hold the strength it does have when worked very finely and across the grain like in these Thorns.  I love the warmth that this timber gives, the low light and shadow enhance it’s quality.  The piece here is one of Naomi’s sketch’s I made in the workshop at the end of 2016…


A page from Naomi’s sketch book, The finished piece is based on the right page top.



Categories: Artwork

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