Monday, August 31, 2009

Small Woodworking Project: Candle Holder After A Chinese Pictogram

The librarian thumb-flipped the book like a magician convincing you the deck was complete. She stopped, riveted by the one-page piece titled "Candelabra from Chinese Ideograms." The sparse, high contrast black and whites of the artist's work are juxtaposed with their inspiration: Chinese characters for umbrella and home. Home was it. "Someday I'd like one of these," she said, holding the Fine Woodworking book a little sideways so he could see it.

So he tackled it, unbeknownst to her. Yes, it is a small project, per the book's subsection, but that might just be referring to real estate on the workbench, or cubic feet of shop space, or board feet of material. It's about 16 inches wide and 7 inches tall.

She was presented it yesterday, in its own storage box. He explained that the lower part, the walnut, was from some lumber given them by friends, an elderly couple, who died this year. The other was material he had been saving, though it seemed too small to be of use.

He blathered, she stared. "Beautiful, just beautiful," she would say, between his stumbling sentences.

Happy birthday, Linda, the love of my life. The words my heart speaks sometime get to my hands first, and that's often how they're best said.

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