Happy Wednesday! Wednesdays are my favorite week day because there's no alternate side parking in my neighborhood. Also because I have the morning off and can sip on Turkish coffee and write blog posts instead of finishing up my taxes.
Today I want to talk about my two current favorite materials, wood and flowers. With the flowering trees in bloom, I feel like this is the perfect time to explore their creative connection.
As plants, flowers and trees are so similar. They both come from the ground and carry water up and down a long stem to give nutrition to the branches/leaves/fruit/flowers. And as plants, there is so much variety! Different flowers and woods have different coloring, aesthetics, and structural uses. To give examples of both: If you want a curved element in a floral arrangement, you'd use a tulip or other softer stemmed flower, not a rose (which has a stiffer stem). For a curved element in furniture, you'd use ash or oak (with wider more flexible grain), not maple or walnut (which have tighter and less flexible grain).
Creatively speaking both woodworking and flower arranging use an additive and subtractive process. Both require a keen eye for layering elements while maintaining clean lines and attractive shapes. And like wood, once cut a flower is cut. Flowers are a bit more forgiving. So long as the end reaches water it's all good. But cut wood too short, even by half an inch, and that's one lopsided chair. That's why there's a saying "measure twice, cut once."
For me, it's ultimately about the tactility and immediacy of both materials. When carving a spoon I see a plain old block of wood, through my hand (and tools), become a beautiful and useful object. When arranging flowers I see, in real time, separate elements come together to create a pleasing and uplifting presence. The intuitive and emotional place I am in while making translates across materials, though I hope to one day combine them to one unified element. Until then, I'll be enjoying the spring!