I was recently invited to participate in a thing called The Kauri Project. A few years ago a massive 108 year old Kauri pine tree had died in the Sydney Botanical Gardens due to an infestation of flying foxes, which are a protected species, but they unfortunately have a tendency to destroy the trees they nest in. Instead of mulching the tree they decided to ask about 30 different people to make things out of the wood. We all chose our wood and went off on our merry way to make totally different things. Here is what I made.....
A giant sliced human heart!
It took about 3 weeks to make it.
I've now added process pictures to show you all what a nightmare it was! I was so frightened that people wouldn't like it. All the other participants are well known or skilled professional woodworkers, this was my first time working with wood in such a way. Hope you like it.
Other people made a variety of things including sculptures, tables, chairs, bowls, boxes, cupboards, jewellery and a boat!
There is an official website, but I don't know the address, if you'd like to know more about the project you can Google 'The Kauri Project'
Ok so I started out with a model of a heart that I found. An educational toy. I glued all the bits together then sliced it up on a band saw.
Then I had my chosen piece of wood, big and flat. I used my little heart slices as a pattern and with an overhead projector blew the pattern up to a size where they all fit into the piece of wood that I had.
Then I cut out each pattern slice on a bandsaw. I then glued and clamped the slices together with a piece of paper in between each slice. This is so I could break them apart again, the paper stops the wood from gluing to the wood. It really works!
With my slices glued with paper in between I used any tool I could find to carve and carve. I used grinders, sanders, files, planers just about anything that worked. I was a maniac, I tried everything. made sure I enclosed myself into a corner of the workshop because I created a LOT of dust.
Anyway after a lot of cursing and dust in my bra and undies, it ended up looking like this
And then I used chisels and a hammer to gently separate the slices.
And then I had sand off all the paper, carve out the interior parts of the heart, sand the outside smooth and add detail to each piece and add a pole in the bottom of each piece. This took quite some time and was more work than I'd really anticipated. I was very sick of it after a while because each slice was like a sculpture in itself.
And after all that I had to carefully paint and stain and finish the whole thing. I added veins on the outside of the heart. The quickest way I could think of to do this was to use knead-it, that 2 part epoxy fix it stuff you can get from the hardware store. I then has to carefully paint each vein.
I was in a rush to get it finished in time. Typical me, leaving things to the last minute. I quickly made a basic block stand for the base, with holes in it for the poles and painted that with varnish, i spent all night painting and painting the heart and it was all a bit of a rush job and it's making me tired just thinking about it. But I got it finished in the end. So after all that work I felt like it was a lot of effort for a bit of an ugly product! But that happens sometimes, and I've learned to appreciate it more now that I'm not having to look at it and think about it all the time!