The Wood & The Whispers

Article - January 28, 2011

If you’re anything like me, a special piece of wood can inspire an entire project. It doesn’t necessarily have to be exceptionally figured either. Sometimes its the color and other times its a subtle grain pattern. Whatever it is, the humble rough-hewn board seems to communicate to me, in its own unique way, what it wants to become. I suppose you can say its “whispering” to me, hence the name of the website. But this is not a special talent! I believe we are all Wood Whisperers and can hear what the wood has to say if we just unclog our ears and listen.

I was fortunate to acquire these two pieces of quilted maple from Horizon Wood Products, which will very likely knock your socks off! Just having these boards in my shop makes me feel all “Maloofy” and brings out my Inner Krenov.

Around the time I made the transition to woodworking, I had the good fortune of spending a great deal of time in David Marks’ shop. I would waste hours looking through his massive wood collection and my brain would come alive with the possibilities. I probably should have been doing something more productive at the time but fortunately, David isn’t exactly what you would call a micro-manager. Since then, I have always wanted to amass a small but respectable collection of my own. Perhaps this is the start? Some people play golf, some play with cars, and some enjoy cigars or fine spirits. Me? I buy wood.

So I’m curious. What does this wood say to you? What would you want to make with it?