I recently decided to create a small sculpture and wanted to maintain the characteristics of the woods as much as I could. I like to work with woods I have on hand and in this case I had a small block of beautifully colored and figured mesquite and a chunk of blackwood available to me. The blackwood had a live edge ( very light bark still there) so it made for an interesting contrast with the dark portion of the wood. The mesquite had an interesting characteristic in that it had existing fissures and cracks which somehow made the wood more appealing to work with. Since the theme of the sculpture slowly evolved into "A Slice Of Nature" I thought it best to maintain as many of the characteristics of the two woods as possible.
I decided to use the mesquite as the base of the sculpture and the chunk of blackwood as the upper part. A few sketches later and a rough vision of the intended sculpture began to emerge. Since the sculpture was to be as natural as possible I minimized the shaping which needed to be done to merge these blocks of wood together. The blackwood with live edge depicts a slice of the tree ( bark included) and the mesquite base (with cracks and fissures) depicts the particular mesquite tree ( warts and all) used in this sculpture.
The finish is thinned shellac to maintain the natural tones and colors of the woods. Each time I stare at this sculpture I think of the tree the blackwood originated from and the great contrast between the figured mesquite and staid blackwood above. The blackwood with live edge brings home the fact that this piece of wood is straight from a tree.