Woodloving Creations - T. E. Davis
The name Woodloving Creations explains who I am as an artist. I am a crafter of wood who seeks to express my love for the wood as art. The furnishings I make are of Eastern Red Cedar limbs or roots that are gathered on long walks through the woods on my home site in eastern Wake County. No live trees are cut to produce them. Only dead limbs or roots from downed trees are used so as to preserve the natural resources in this area. Patient searching is required to locate each part for a chair or stool to ensure the character and strength for each creation. Each limb or root is naturally finished until it is satin smooth. Seats for cushioned chairs are hand upholstered with pigskin or deer hide.
Each one of a kind piece takes four to six weeks to complete with some root pieces taking longer. I work to transform the roughness of jagged edged roots or limbs into parts that are smooth and appealing. I seek to achieve a balance of the natural shapes. It is my goal to show the beauty of the wood grain, to give the wood a smooth texture that accents its shape and light-to-dark colors.
When I begin a new piece I sometimes start with a sketch of an idea. But even when I do, once I pick up the first cedar limb or root, the wood starts to tell me what it wants to be. Each new limb placed adds to the story. I don’t exactly create these pieces of work….I enhance what is there in the wood. The name of each piece evolves with each chair.
I work with the wood because it is pleasing to me ….pleasing to see the shapes, patterns, and curves in nature…to admire how nature never uses a straight line to develop. By enhancing the grain of the wood, the imperfections of the natural shape of the limbs and roots, I form pieces of that are both pleasing and have useful purpose. As I work, I am remembering that we often see the imperfections in others, when we should try to seek the beauty that lies beneath.
When I am working with the wood, I feel blessed. I feel my own imperfections, and I try to do with, and for, the wood what I try to do for myself and others…..to find the way to let the beauty show beneath the grey, craggy, gnarled exterior of each dead limb and root. Each piece becomes in some way a portrait of Tom Davis….each has it’s own soul. The wood reminds me of times in my life when beauty has come from hard times. I have come to appreciate that the most beautiful heart pieces actually lie within the limbs and roots with uneven grains and cracks that have had the hardest life. Like life, like us, they are full of imperfections. The old grey limbs speak to the challenge of overcoming obstacles in order to show the inner beauty of one’s own self worth.
I am inspired by the good workmanship of others, for I am not by nature a detail oriented person. I am always striving to pay attention to the detail of the work and the wood. I am happy in knowing that with old dead limbs and roots, and the work of my hands I can create something of high quality to be enjoyed. Each piece reflects back to me the rewards of my patience, will, and desire to accomplish good work.