Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Christ was a Carpenter

image from latitudegallery.com

Christ was a Carpenter

“The things I make may be for others, but how I
make them is for me.”--Tony Konovaloff.

I like to surround myself with things made from wood;
cabinets, tables & chairs, trunks, boxes, floors and
carved art. I take a small wooden sculpture or bowl
& stare at the grain, and run my fingers over their
polished sides--somehow feeling connected to the
dense forest, the steaming jungle, or even the desert
arroyos. Those who work with wood, whether to build
things or create art, are using primordial skills that
predate those who work with steel, iron, concrete or

I have a pair of woodworking friends.
One is a former student of mine who
fashions writing pens out of blocks of
imported or gathered wood. The other
carves tiny wooden vases & pots, like
furniture for Thumbelina, of every shape,
hollowed out, fitted with lids. He could 
sell his carvings, but he prefers to give
them away as gifts for friends & family.

Both of them have outfitted
    their own wood shop, with several
         sizes and types of lathe, planers, and
              fifty kinds of cutting, sanding, and polishing
         tools. They both make out little hand--
    written certificates, identifying the wood
used, its history and locale. They
were excited to show me how they
order exotic wood samples from
Africa, Europe, Asia, South America
and Australia from the internet.

While I was in Hawaii, I bought a couple hunks of wood
and carried them home for my artisan cronies. Politely
they both showed me less expensive samples on-line.

Trees create clean air,
then become lumber, crafts and

artful shelf huggers.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub  


brudberg said...

Wood is a fantastic material, and your friends sounds like wonderful artisans... To bring it all together like that is fantastic with each piece of wood containing a journey.

Kim M. Russell said...

What a stunning image, Glenn, and an equally stunning poem. Carpentry is an art that I greatly admire. To make not only practical items but also items of beauty is a form of poetry. Come to think of it, the shapes of your poems appear to be carved out of words. I think maybe because I am a huge tree fan, I must have wood around me for its smell, the way it feels and the lines and knots in its texture, which is why I was drawn in by the opening lines. Also, anybody who works with wood seems to have such patience.

Kim M. Russell said...

By the way, I'm glad you like the prompt!

Paul John Dear said...

My father was a carpenter though of the construction type mostly. He once made a miniature Romany caravan for fun which was just sensational. My love of wood grew from there and I too headed down that very road this evening. Loved your piece Glen and I hope despite the price your long carried Hawaiian treasure was fashioned into something beautiful.

Grace said...

I marvel at people who can work with wood and make it into an art or something else ~ There is a connection to the trees and forest that makes it a good experience or occupation. I believe however that the wood should be one that we no longer need like decaying or dying, and can be repurposed some other way.

Wolfsrosebud said...

wood, a natural thing, takes on an art of its own when crafted by sturdy hands

Sabio Lantz said...

Wood work is so relaxing

Frank Hubeny said...

The craftsman would know the best places to buy materials online, but I suspect they like gifts as well.

Waltermarks said...

I'll tell you Glenn, people make a lot of money crafting doll houses and model furniture with tiny saws and lathes. It's a wonderful craft.

De Jackson said...

I love that quote, Glenn. Your title. The stream of this. rippled like wood grain.

Maria said...

Beautiful! I'm a lover of arts made of wood too. :D

lillianthehomepoet.wordpress.com said...

"Those who work with wood, whether to build
things or create art, are using primordial skills that
predate those who work with steel, iron, concrete or
This statement, with the title -- I find fascinating. Have never thought about it in this way.
And then you continue....to juxtapose your friends who carve in wood, yes, but use modern tools and, gasp, order wood from online -- the penultimate other side of the pendulum from those primordial carvers. Today, we hone our basic skills with technology -- ah you've got me "connecting" here --- evven the writer, myself included in the most base way, begin with pen on paper and then shift to the word-processing mode to shift words, move lines, count words, etc. I think of the beautiful script of old and cringe that schools are not teaching cursive these days.
The mark of a good writer -- to get his reader moving beyond and connecting. You always seem to do that to me, Glenn.
REALLY enjoyed this one! :)