I started looking into the mystery of wood working after a time spent understanding metals, mostly with the desire to merge the two together somehow. Can I combine a forged metal object with some exotic piece of wood and make it into a project worthy of the effort put into making it in the first place? Why not? But how do I find the right kind of hardwood and match it to a forging which demanded a lot of sweat to create it, but more important was knowing just where were these woods sold in small pieces just for me.
Luckily, there were such places, and they had such a variety of colors and textures that it would take years to know them all. Bubinga, cocobolo, rosewood, lignum, kingwood, walnut, the list was endless...the prices were high...and which one could be worked by hand as that was the only method I had and with traditional techniques which were actually working the wood, not machining it.
Over time and trial, I was able to come up with the right combinations of woods and metals; they created the marriages I wanted, without also creating untouched "jewels not tools". As a traditional woodworker I understand my labors will be slow and sometimes difficult compared to being able to use power sanders, saws and jointers, but with patience and fortitude I have come to appreciate the efforts of past craftsmen in wood. They came up with works of art and beauty in ways that I can only read about and attempt to duplicate with hand planes, chisels, rasps and scraping irons, but I'll keep trying.
All are welcome. Arrive early for refreshments, and if you have ideas for future lecture topics, feel free to submit them to email@example.com. For more information on the other projects by the Angels Camp Museum Foundation, visit our past projects page.
Don't miss our first lecture of the Season!
Next Lecture: November 6, 2022, Greg Francek talks about the Fossils in Mokelumne Hill