What is art? When I saw the word art I’m sure most people think of paintings and sculptures in museums, and those people are right. However, depending on your interests art can be any number of things! If you are a performer, art comes in the form of plays, movies, comedy, improvisation. If you are an athlete, art comes in the form of a well-executed play, a skillful maneuver out of the way of a defender, or a trick shot only you can complete. Every artist has their own medium, and today we are going to discuss the medium of wood… and more specifically… which wood is the best to work with and the properties it contains.
PINE – This is a naturally very soft wood so it is very easy to cut and drill. If you are using it to build the foundation of something, despite its softness it is still sturdy and durable, but also it lends itself to be cut and sliced into whatever you need. If you are sculpting, shaving pieces of and sanding will be a breeze. The color is also light and can really brighten wherever it is used, but also perfect for staining if you’d like it to be darker.
CEDAR – Another softer wood that will be easy to cut and sculpt, but also, cedar has some special characteristics of its own. It is really good at withstanding the elements so it is perfect for any art that might wind up outside. It has a lovely red tint, a nice natural aroma, and perfect for the construction of anything that holds clothes for long periods of time because of it natural wards off moths.
CHERRY – Cherry is less soft than the other two mentioned, although it is still considered the softer of the hardwoods. If you are looking for something that will have to withstand a lot of weight and pressure and needs to hold up a lot, this might be the best middle ground without having to resort to the harder woods. It has a warm and beautiful reddish tone as well so if you want to just put a clear coat on it, you can and it will look great!
MAPLE – The beauty with Maple is that it can come in both hard and soft wood. If you are a beginner, the softer variety might be the best option for you because the hardwood variety is hard to work with and should only be attempted by master woodworkers. However, if you are a master craftsman, Maple is one of the sturdiest types of wood out there and perfect for building furniture and other items that need to withstand the test of weight and time.
Another secret to woodworking is wood burl. The burl is a deformation that can sometimes occur in trees that experience stress, and the deformation creates a beautiful pattern of chaotic swirls and texture that is unlike anything else in nature. Each burl is completely one of a kind and perfect for any projects where you want to get a cool swirly texture into it. Burls can happen to any tree, but some trees are more susceptible to it than others. This company actually takes these burls and creates gorgeous wallets and phone cases by combining it with colored resin.
Get out there, find some wood and start creating. Nature gives us the resources, and we are here to shape them! That’s what makes humans capable of art, no matter what medium!