17 August 2013
This spring, while eating tacos at my favorite Mexican restaurant, I got a mental flash of a piece I wanted to make for a friend’s 50th birthday. It seemed like a pipe dream, though, because it involved an old growth log, which are very hard to come by. I looked for downed logs in the Redwood Forest and in Big Sur during a trip there, but no luck. I searched the internet for people selling seasoned old growth rounds, but found nothing that cost less than my car. So I started working half-heartedly on another project for my friend. A few weeks later, I mentioned my original idea to a couple of artist friends and they suggested I call the Forest Service to see if they had any suggestions. I called one morning from my folks’ house and both of the people I spoke to said, “Uh, yeah, no, we don’t have anything like that.” So, with a heavy heart, I gave up the idea.
Later that afternoon I went hiking with the folks. On the drive back, my dad said, “Did I hear you talking to the Forest Service this morning?” I told him about The Idea That Would Never Be, about The Fabled Old Growth Log and, as my words are still hovering in the air above us, he nonchalantly pointed out the window and said, “What about something like that?” On the side of the road laid an 80-foot Ponderosa Pine cut into 5 ft lengths.
I called a friend to meet me with his chainsaw. Since I had never used one before, he kindly obliged and cut a 6” slice for me: