The Making of Burgundy Lake – Complete Process

Burgundy Lake

Part One

  • decide I need to create something
  • look around my work space to see what is waiting for “inspiration”
  • select a 2/3 finished project that has been gathering dust on the bench for months
  • celebrate the fact that this project needs wood, and thus, a trip to my local supplier is required
    • note: it is always important to justify my emerging addiction
  • go to The Wood Guys and appreciate all the gorgeous timber
  • touch the timber
  • smell the timber
  • feast my eyes on the timber – the knots, burls, grains, colours and textures
  • let my soul free to find the weird shapes, the cracked, broken and void filled remnants of a living entity, that I am so drawn to
  • (yes, I get a bit carried way, but have you ever, truly, looked a beautiful piece of raw timber to appreciate it – you really, really should)
  • sadly accept that I cannot buy all of the timber
    • – I CANNOT!
  • buy more than I need for the current project, because, you know, timber is GOOD.
  • drive home, savouring the aroma of raw timber lingering in your personal space.
  • change your mind about what you are going to create first, and go completely off plan!
  • start all the boring prep work
  • sand all the raggedy bits – but not TOO much – I like the character of them
  • chop them in half, and arrange them till i get something I think will work
  • lay them on acrylic sheet and mark out the size for the form
  • measure, cut and sand pine boards to sizes to form the boxwork
  • curl up in chair exhausted (but satisified at the progress made)
  • daydream of wood, and it’s future melding with resin

Part Two

  • wake up and realise that the form I built isn’t high enough for the wood i want to use 
  • make mental note to measure properly next time
  • decide to take a detour down another creation path, and make something else that will fit into the form
  • look through my bits and pieces to find something to inspire me
  • find “the thing” that will lead me to creation
  • find another “thing” that can be combined with the first “thing” to hopefully make a complete thing that will be pretty nice
  • realise that the colours of the two things are going to work really well together (happy happenstance)
  • add other bits that will (hopefully) complement the two “things”
  • start to create
  • much fiddling around, and many resin layers later, “Burgundy Grape”exists
  • decide I don’t like the square corners
  • do some therapeutic destructive shaping with the sander to get final shape

Part Three (months later)

  • this piece is still undergoing it’s final finishing (and yes, it has been months), but everytime I think it is finished, IT”S NOT!
  • I shan’t bore you with the recitation of how much sanding, repouring of resin, more sanding, coating the wood part with latex to keep it clean, and pouring resin on the other part, then more sanding – and THEN realising that there were some only part-cured wet spots in the resin, so more sanding and recoating, and on and on and on
  • oh, I just did bore you – oops
  • anyway, suffice to say this morning I am recoating the Huon Pine with latex in the hopes of doing a FINAL coat of resin on the remaining part later today, in the hope of getting an acceptable finish.
  • cross your fingers for me

Part Four (more months later)

  • This piece has tested my patience, and my need for it to “look good”. 
  • I don’t strive for perfection, because I think that is unrealistic, and because I also think it looks unnatural in these botanic pieces.  
  • I want folks to know that this was handmade: by a real person, who struggled with it’s birth and upbringing, but kept persisting till they created something that was pleasing to them.

Part Five ( more & more months later)

  • This piece was finally finished many, many, many, many months after it was started
  • It is a very different piece than when it first started
  • Basically it got chopped, and cut, and chopped again, till I was right back at the one piece of Huon Pine I had started with, surrounded with some resin edges.
  • Sometimes creation is like that – what you think you want doesn’t end up being what you actually want!